“I’m a dead man walking”
Gregorio is an Afro-descendent man from the Caribbean coast, tall and slim, around 40 years old. His community is located in an area where various armed groups overlap. Over the years, his community has witnessed and been affected by numerous clashes. Gregorio survived one of the many massacres that took place in the area, after which he took on a public leadership role. He is now nationally recognised and has direct contact with high-ranking authorities. He supported the Peace Agreement with the FARC. As a result of being so highly visible in his role as a defender, he has received threats from multiple fronts, to the extent that people from his own organisation are afraid of being seen in public with him. He had to leave his community to live in a larger city. He has even sent his children to live with relatives in order to keep them out of harm’s way. Despite having direct contact with state representatives, his request for protection has been pending for almost a year and is neither sufficient nor adequate for the area in which he lives and works.