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Margarita Hilamo Mestizo

Asocación de Cabildo Indigenas del Norte del Cauca

Margarita Hilamo Mestizo Testimony

Despite my commitment to the community and my love for the indigenous movement, this tense and precarious situation is affecting me greatly, resulting in insomnia. I feel much distrust towards other people. I often feel fearful – fearful about expressing myself and my experiences, fearful of the night, fearful of being alone.

Here in Colombia the land is in the hands of the few; not to produce food, but to produce biofuels

Margarita Hilamo Mestizo is an activist for indigenous and environmental rights in Cauca, Colombia, a region of Colombia that is currently embroiled in a conflict over 141,000 hectares of land that the indigenous people claim is owed to them by the government.


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.


Margarita Hilamo Mestizo Testimony - 2015 Dublin Platform