A human rights lawyer has been killed in Colombia, as violence against the country’s public figures continues to grow despite the peace agreement between the government and the Farc guerilla movement. Paula Andrea Rosero Ordóñez, 47, was shot dead at close range by two hitmen, according to a police report.
Working as a representative of the public ministry in Nariño, a department in south-west Colombia, Rosero asked for extra protection from the government in 2016 after receiving death threats.
According to a report by Colombia Caravana, a UK based charity, hundreds of human rights defenders have been assassinated since the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with Farc in 2016.
Sue Willman, partner at civil rights firm Deighton Pierce Glynn, said it was unusual for a human rights lawyer working for the government to be targeted, however. She said: ‘It is shocking to hear that a lawyer employed by the government, who sought extra protection measures in 2016 has been murdered while simply doing her job.
‘Last year the Colombia Caravana visited Narino, the area in southern Colombia where Paula was based. Local indigenous people and their lawyers told us they were afraid that they would be killed by the illegal armed groups who have stepped into the vacuum after the peace process between the Farc and the government.’