Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26
2nd of December 2016
His Excellency President Juan Manuel Santos,
As the Honorary President of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk I am writing to you
following your recent very welcome visit to the UK.
I would like to start by extending our most sincere congratulations to you on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016. We have been following the Colombian Peace Process with great interest, and we are fully aware of the critical role that civil society and lawyers from the CCAJAR collective have played in contributing to the signing of the Peace Accords and to Peace in Colombia.
The main purpose of this letter is to draw attention to their particular vulnerability in this context.
At the beginning of November, as President of the Alliance, I had a meeting in London with Reinaldo Villalba of the CCAJAR lawyers collective. Reinaldo also attended the banquet at the Guildhall in London on the 2nd November in your honour along with PBI UK Director Susi Bascon. He told us of the high-risk situation that lawyers and legal practitioners still face in Colombia, with many deaths and threats of death.
The Alliance will be monitoring very closely the security situation of human rights defenders and lawyers, particularly in the aftermath of the referendum. We therefore hope that the Colombian government will do its upmost to ensure the protection of human rights defenders and lawyers at this critical time.
The Rt Hon Sir Henry Brooke CMG
Hon President, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk