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Carlos Eduardo Ramírez Villabona

HRD, Environmental Coordinator

Carlos Eduardo is a social and environmental leader, recognised human rights defender, for the work achieved with communities since 2019. He is the current coordinator of environmental rights at CORPOINDH.

The defender has denounced the damage caused by environmental pollution by multinationals that cause irreparable damage to the main water accounts of his region and that have in critical conditions the drinkability of water in the District of Barrancabermeja and the other municipalities that are part of the region of Magdalena Medio and Santander.

Since 2020, a victim of threats from illegal armed groups and dissident paramilitary structures, he had to move to the capital. The level of risk remained high and he was the victim of an attempted murder, which forced him to move to another municipality.

He is currently carrying out different investigations with the aim of contributing and providing information for the next early warnings and informing the communities about the presence of criminal activities in Magdalena Medio and Santander.

HRDs in Colombia work in a violent and unsafe environment. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, physical assaults, torture, killings, illegal searches of their homes and offices and stigmatisation as a result of their activities in defence of human rights. The perpetrators of these abuses are frequently paramilitary groups, many of whom have links to the government or security services, or armed opposition groups. The continued frequent and severe threats and attacks against HRDs around the country contradict government claims of paramilitary demobilisation.


HRDs at risk in Colombia come from a broad range of different backgrounds, including: trade unionists, indigenous leaders, afro-colombian leaders, activists working with internally displaced persons and on land issues, women's rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, students and youth activists, church workers, LGBTI and HIV activists.