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Diego Martinez

Diego Martínez

Comité Permanente por la defensa de los Derechos Humanos, MOVICE

The profession of human rights defenders is one of the most dangerous professions in Colombia. Today those with most risk to their lives - both collectively and individually - are human rights defenders.

Diego Martínez is the executive secretary of the Comité Permanente por la defensa de los Derechos Humanos - CPDH (Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights). He is also a member of the Comité de Impulso (Directing Committee) of the human rights organisation Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas Crímenes del Estado - MOVICE (National Movement of Victims of State Crimes). CPDH was created in 1979 and it focuses particularly on the protection of the civilian population caught in the crossfire of the armed conflict, and it has been at the forefront of the struggle for the defence of human rights and democratic freedoms in Colombia. 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.


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.


Diego Martínez