Concerns over death threat against Colombian human rights lawyer Adil Meléndez Marquez
10 juli 2023

Concerns over death threat against Colombian human rights lawyer Adil Meléndez Marquez

Colombia

Adil José Meléndez Marquez is a prominent Colombian human rights lawyer. He is one of the few lawyers in the country working on land restitution cases, and the prosecution of the (para)military in the northern Bolivar region. He also represents farming communities in their struggle against the extractive activities of multinational companies in Colombia. As a result of his work, he has often been targeted and threatened. Over the years there have been multiple attempts to assassinate him.

A few months ago, on April 10th, 2023, a new death threat was addressed to Adil, in a message on his mobile phone undersigned by the “Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia”, a Colombian paramilitary group better known as the “Clan del Golfo”. The death threat appears to be motivated by Adil’s legal representation of community members in the Cartagena region. 10 other persons, among them several social community leaders, received similar threats on the same day.

Lawyers for Lawyers calls upon the Colombian National Protection Unit to promptly review Adil’s protection scheme in light of his risk situation and to liaise with the relevant prosecution services to ensure that the most recent threats against him are investigated.

In December 2022 Lawyers for Lawyers had the chance to do an interview with Adil, during which among others we discussed his security risks and the constant threats he is facing. The interview can be read here: https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/adil-melendez-marquez-when-starting-a-legal-case-there-is-no-guarantee-at-all-that-it-will-ever-be-treated-let-alone-that-environmental-and-human-rights-violations-are-actually-punished/

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