Pax Christi International, PAX and OIDHACO to hold a panel discussion in Brussels on the current context in Colombia on 20 November


On 20 November, Pax Christi International with co-organisers PAX, our member organisations from the Netherlands, and the International Office on Human Rights – Action Colombia (OIDHACO), will present a panel discussion entitled, “The Colombian Peace Process and Extractives Situation Under a New Government: Which EU Responses Are Needed?”. The panel discussion will take place at the Quakers House between 10.00 and 12.00 hours.

In August, a new government took up office in Colombia. What can the EU do to guarantee the implementation of the peace agreement and to support talks with the ELN?

Since 2017, 196 human rights defenders have been killed in Colombia. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, how can the EU support human rights defenders in Colombia during this dangerous time? In what ways can the EU pursue sustainable trade and make extractive companies—often perpetrators of human rights abuses—respect vulnerable and indigenous communities impacted by their projects?

To reflect on these questions, Pax Christi International, together with PAX and OIDHACO, will discuss the current Colombian context and needed EU responses at our panel discussion on 20 November. The event will feature a Colombian delegation from the Conference of Religious of Colombia (CRC) and the Environmental Committee in Defence of Life who will share about the present situation in their country. Following their presentation, panelists will reflect on the needed responses from the EU.

The panel will be moderated by Mr. Francisco Assis, European Parliament Member of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), Chair of the delegation for relations with Mercosur, Member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.

Panelists include:

  • Ms. Julia Margarita Bautista Polania, laywoman of the Franciscan family of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Conference of Religious of Colombia (CRC), Pax Christi International’s member organisation in Colombia.
  • Mr. Jaime Andrés Tocora Lozano, member of the Environmental Committee in Defence of Life of Tolima and chair of the Board of Directors of SOS Environmental Corporation, its legal entity. Several members of the Committee have since 2013 received threats, such as by a paramilitary group during the presidential elections when demanding respect for public consultation outcomes on mining/energy projects.
  • Mr. Maurice van Beers, programme leader, Latin America programme, PAX in the Netherlands. PAX supports Colombian victims in their search for truth and reconciliation and pushes European mining companies as well as shareholders to take responsibility.
  • Mr. Jorge Gómez, the International Office for Human Rights – Action on Colombia (OIDHACO), which recently issued a publication on the peace process and the protection of Colombian human rights defenders.

Pax Christi International recently conducted a short interview with Renzo Alejandro García Parra, co-founder of the Environmental Committee in Defence of Life, in support of this event. You can click on this link to watch the short video.

Please register by COB 19 November, by clicking here.

Additional information:

  • For more information on the panel discussion and the situation in Colombia, click here.
  • For a poster of the event to share or post, click here.
  • For an infograhic to share over social media, click here.
  • For bios on the panelists, click here.




Advocacy priority: Extractives in Latin America



OIDHACO, PAX, International Office on Human Rights – Action Colombia, Colombia, human rights, Extractives, Latin America, Conference of Religious of Colombia