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Crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses in the context of the continuing internal armed conflict increased in rural areas where control of territories formerly dominated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was disputed. The primary victims continued to be members of rural communities. Sexual violence against women and girls persisted, as did impunity for these crimes. Colombia was widely recognized as the most dangerous country in the world for those who defend human rights. Protection measures for defenders of the territory, land and environment remained limited and ineffective, and impunity for crimes against them continued. In 2020, killings of social leaders reached shocking levels. There were concerns about the withdrawal of protection schemes for human rights defenders, the authorities’ excessive use of force when enforcing mandatory quarantines and the failure to guarantee the right to health of Amazonian Indigenous Peoples in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The police responded to nationwide protests in September with excessive use of lethal force, killing 10 people, and torture. The Supreme Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling in September, ordering measures to guarantee the exercise of the right to peaceful protest and acknowledging the excessive use of force by state security officials.

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Death penalty status

Abolitionist for all crimes

Does not use the death penalty


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