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  • Among its other goals, the league aims to defend the lives of social leaders, introduce protective measures surrounding social protests, and push for a better quality of life in rural sectors.

    Among its other goals, the league aims to defend the lives of social leaders, introduce protective measures surrounding social protests, and push for a better quality of life in rural sectors. | Photo: Twitter: @IvanCepedaCast

Published 31 January 2019

The League for Democracy will represent communities that fight for water, the environment, and human rights.

Three hundred social leaders will form the League for Democracy, a congressional caucus created in defense of the rights of rural communities, officials said Thursday.

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"It is an initiative that has roots in 80 municipalities of the country, which will represent communities that fight for water, the environment, the implementation of the Peace Agreement and human rights," said Ivan Cepeda, senator from Colombia.

Among its other goals, the league aims to defend the lives of social leaders, introduce protective measures surrounding social protests, push for a better quality of life in rural sectors, and organize mechanisms allowing for citizen participation, particularly prior and popular consultations.

In a statement, the league said, "We reject any regulatory initiative that has been promoted by the Executive, Legislative and political parties that go against the principles of prior consultation and our life and ethno-development plans, ignoring our own governments and the autonomy and self-determination of peoples.

“It is our decision to continue in the fight for the exercise of the right to social protest and we will use it for the defense of water, territories, the environment, health, education  for the achievement of equity, the defense of peace, demand the extension of democracy and achieve effective protection of the State against the growing number of killings and threats of leaders and social leaders,” said the new political delegation, adding that police brutality against peaceful protesters will not be tolerated.

Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz) says that within the 29 days of 2019, 17 social leaders have been killed in Colombia.

In an interview with Canal 1, Angela María Robledo, a representative of Colombia Humana, said, “President Iván Duque, you are very concerned about Venezuela... but in this country; this country burns, 17 leaders killed this year and there are no conclusive measures for the protection of their lives in the territories, "said Ángela María Robledo, representative of Colombia Humana.

Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez said in early January that the greatest number of Colombians murdered over the past two years since the signing of the peace agreement have been social leaders who serve on Communal Action Boards (JAC).

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