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News > Latin America

Colombia Ratifies Agreement for Defense of Environmentalists

  • Lawmaker Maria Jose Pizarro during the vote in favor of the Escazu Agreement.

    Lawmaker Maria Jose Pizarro during the vote in favor of the Escazu Agreement. | Photo: Twitter/ @PizarroMariaJo

Published 11 October 2022

The Escazu Agreement commits the States to the pursuit of environmental justice, transparency, and access to information.

On Monday, the Colombian congress ratified the Escazú Agreement, the first treaty in Latin America and the Caribbean for the defense of environmental activists, in the fourth and final debate.


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"Is a reality! With 120 votes in favor, the Escazu Agreement was approved", the Environment Ministry tweeted at the end of the debate in the Lower House.

Upon learning of the decision of the Congress, the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, congratulated the legislators for having approved the international treaty that seeks to protect the environment and environmental activists.

"What had not been achieved in three years was achieved in 63 days. This not only generates a better democratic standard in environmental decisions, but also provides political power to citizens," Environment Minister Susana Muhammad said.

While the Constitutional Court finalizes details of the agreement's ratification, the Environmental Ministry contemplates routes for its implementation. Among them is the creation of information systems on socio-environmental conflict.

The Escazu Agreement establishes provisions for the protection of environmental defenders in Latin America, the region that has the highest number of murders of activists in the world.

So far, this international instrument has been ratified by Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Uruguay.

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