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Yomaira Mendoza

Yomaira Mendoza

The Guardian - Article

Colombians are being kept off their farms by armed groups and illegal businesses. Those fighting for land restitution have a blunt message for British firms and politicians

If we all keep our mouths shut, the impunity will go on and on and on; there will never be justice. It’s a risk we have to take. We know that we’ve all got to die sooner or later. And that’s OK. That’s the decision I’ve made.

Yomaira Mendoza is a leader of a land rights movement that claims the restitution of lands for the communities of Curbaradó in the Uraba region in Colombia. Since 2005, lands right defenders have been victims of multiple threats and intimidations by illegal occupants of communal lands and neo-paramilitary groups of the region.


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.


Yomaira Mendoza