Justice for Slain Afro-Colombian Leader

Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

Goal: Ensure those responsible for the death of Jose Jair Cortes are found and prosecuted.

Afro-Colombian community organizer Jose Jair Cortes was recently found dead in the southern region of Narino. According to local media reports, Cortes is suspected of being assassinated. It’s unclear who could have murdered the popular community leader, though the death did take place in a region marred by recent violence. Just weeks before Cortes’ body was found, anti-narcotics police sprayed a crowd of more than a thousand protesting coca farmers with gunfire, killing at least seven people. Some of the dead appeared to have been shot in the back while fleeing the massacre, according to a forensic analysis of the corpses.

If you believe it’s time Colombia start prosecuting killers of social rights campaigners, sign this petition to demand justice for Cortes.


Dear President Santos,

Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in Latin America for social justice campaigners, with critics warning of an almost total impunity for wrongdoers.

“The armed conflict with the FARC may be over, but the country’s incredibly brave human rights defenders continue to be threatened and killed at an alarming rate,” U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour recently stated. The latest such victim was Afro-Colombian community organizer Jose Jair Cortes, who is suspected to have been assassinated in the troubled Narino region.

We demand justice for Cortes, and call for a full investigation into his death. We call on you to ensure his killers are prosecuted, and for the Colombian state to take steps to protect social justice campaigners and community leaders like Cortes.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Handout via ColPrensa

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