Adil Jose Meléndez Marquez is a Colombian human rights lawyer. He is one of the few lawyers working on land restitution cases, and the prosecution of the (para)military in the northern Bolivar region. He mainly represents displaced and indigenous peoples and peasant communities.
As a result of his work, he often receives threats by the paramilitary. The state recognized the need for safety measures and has provided Meléndez with bodyguards. However, the protection by bodyguards is only applied when he is in Cartagena, while the risks are particularly high outside Cartagena, in the rural areas.
Adil Meléndez survived three attempted assassination attempts by cicario’s (assassins). He reports that he is being followed on the streets, and that his phone is tapped. Despite the threats, he is determined to continue his work to prevent certain groups of citizens from having no access to justice at all.
Lawyers for Lawyers spoke to Adil Meléndez in 2016 during the fact-finding mission the Caravana de Juristas.
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