Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
Goal: Provide additional protection for peasant farmers threatened by unidentified gunmen.
An unidentified gunman has attempted to assassinate a human rights activist and community leader in Colombia. Argemiro Lara — a leader of the La Europa farming community — was on his way to a meeting when an as-of-yet unidentified man pulled up on a motorbike and pointed a gun at him. Fortunately, Mr. Lara’s bodyguard fatally shot the assailant before he could open fire. However, it is unlikely that the assailant acted alone, opening the possibility of future attacks. Indeed, Argemiro Lara along with other members of the La Europa community have been the subject of numerous threats and a campaign of intimidation.
In addition to his role as a leader of the La Europa community, Argemiro Lara is a member of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) and the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CPDH). Members of both these organizations have been the targets of violence. Last year, 70 human and land rights defenders were murdered in Colombia. Sign our petition to demand additional protection for Argemiro Lara and the La Europa farming community.
Dear President Santos,
I was alarmed to hear of the attempt on Argemiro Lara’s life. While he was saved by his bodyguard, this attempt on his life highlights the continued threat to farming communities in general and the La Europa farming community in particular. As you well know, in 2015, 70 human and land rights activists were murdered in Colombia. This includes members of MOVICE and the CPDH, of which Mr. Lara is a member.
Moving forward, I urge you to increase state protection to Argemiro Lara and other members of the La Europa community. Further, I urge you to open an independent and transparent investigation into this attempt on his life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Foreign and commonwealth office