Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Tries State Terrorism In Colombia

Above photo: The meme reads, “We reject social and popular movements extermination. Stop the genocide”, Bucaramanga, Colombia, March 25, 2021. Twitter/ @Col_Informa.

“People in Colombia are killed because they are against the status quo. They think differently and have new projects for the country,” an activist said.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), which was established as a continuation of the Russell Tribunals on Vietnam and Latin America, began on Friday hearings to address violence in Colombia.

This Italy-based tribunal was convened by over 150 humanitarian and social organizations. Bogota, Medellin, and Bucaramanga are the cities where the international ethical judges will hear testimonies on genocide, impunity, and crimes against the Peace process.

“Genocide in Colombia is not only linked to murders or partial or total extermination. It is also related to the arbitrary use of the law against people and communities,” PPT spokesperson Olimpo Cardenas said.

“People are killed because they are against the status quo. They think differently and have new projects for the country,” he added.

The meme reads, “We are ready to take to the streets in Medellin for the vindication of women’s rights and to shout Not One More.”

The PPT accepted to install hearings from March 25 until 27 in Colombia, where over 50 reports and hundreds of victims will be presented. The State can delegate an Ombudsman to respond to the accusations.

This is not the first time the PPT prosecutes crimes against humanity committed by the Colombian State. Previously, the Tribunal examined human rights violations by “protected” transnational corporations.

“Genocide and grave human rights violations are systematic and have been going on for decades in Colombia… The State and the power elite continue to carry out these violations,” lawyer Jaimes Marin said.