Monday 27 May 2013 by Jonathan Rayner
Assassinations, death threats, unlawful detention and other abuses of lawyers continue unchecked in Colombia despite the current peace talks in the country, according to a high-level international delegation.
The Colombia Caravana, an international team of 42 solicitors, barristers and judges, visited the country in August-September last year.
Publishing its final report last week, Professor Sara Chandler, chair of the Caravana UK Lawyers Group, described the harassment and worse inflicted upon a woman lawyer who represents families of the 'disappeared'.
Law Society president Lucy-Scott-Moncrieff, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives president Nick Hanning, Mark Cunningham QC of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and Bar Human Rights Committee chair Kirsty Brimelow QC also spoke at the event in Chancery Lane.
The report considers the working of new laws; the impact of mining and extractive industries; violation of the rights of indigenous peoples; continued activities of paramilitaries; and the violation of prisoners' rights.
It also examines impunity, the rule of law and access to justice, as well as evidence of limited progress in prosecuting the perpetrators of extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances and sexual violence.
The report will soon be available at the group's website.