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Case History: Daniel Abril

About the situation

On 13 November 2015, human rights defender Mr Daniel Abril was killed while in a bakery in his home town of Trinidad, in the department of Casanare. He was one of the most prominent voices against reported human rights abuses committed by oil companies in the Casanare department. Daniel Abril and other members of MOVICE have been the subject of threats and other forms of harassment.

About Daniel Abril

Daniel AbrilDaniel Abril was a member of the Casanare chapter of the Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado – MOVICE (Movement of Victims of State Crimes). MOVICE is a national human rights organisation working with victims of the armed conflict, monitoring and seeking justice for human rights violations committed by the State and paramilitaries.

20 November 2015
Killing of human rights defender Daniel Abril and escalating threats against members of MOVICE

Three days after Daniel Abril's killing, on 16 November 2015, human rights defender Ms Maria Cardona Mejía, who is the technical secretary of the Caldas chapter of MOVICE, was followed by an unidentified man whom she heard saying on the phone "when I was in the military, massacres were what we did, like what I am going to do to this blond girl and her boss” (“cuando yo fui militar, masacres era lo que hacíamos, como le vamos a hacer a la peliteñida que tengo al lado y a su jefe”). Maria Cardona has previously received several threatening calls in 2012 and 2013 in which Mr. Dario Ecsehomo Diaz, her “boss” at MOVICE-Caldas was mentioned.

MOVICE has also reported that a significant number of its members have been affected by the elimination, reduction, or failure to implement the protection measures granted by the National Protection Unit (UNP) over the past months. This included the reduction of protection measures for Mr Juan David Diaz, who has received seven death threats this year alone, including in October; the failure to implement effective protective measures for Ms Martha Lucia Giraldo, technical secretary of the MOVICE chapter in Valle del Cauca, which led to to the protection measures being suspended in February 2015; the delay in completing a risk analysis for Mrs Rocio Campos, technical secretary of the MOVICE chapter in Magdalena Medio, and Mr Jaime Pena, a member of the same chapter, analysis which began on 24 September 2015. This situation puts the safety of MOVICE's members in danger and affects their ability to carry out their work.