Human Rights in Colombia Talk

Event Details

Come show your support for courageous human rights defenders from Colombia!

In May 2017, community leaders organized a city-wide strike in the Colombian port of Buenaventura, after unsuccessful efforts to press authorities to address an acute social and human rights crisis. Dozens were wounded by security forces during the strike and since then paramilitary forces have exacted revenge on the strike committee. What is happening in Buenaventura is emblematic of the wider situation of extreme danger, amid a terrifying spike in assassinations of social leaders and human rights defenders. As a major donor to peacebuilding in Colombia, and a partner in the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s voice carries weight. It is vitally important to hear what defenders like the visitors from Buenaventura have to say about the current situation and their call to Canada.


– Maria Miyela Riascos Riascos is a spokesperson for the Buenaventura Civic Strike Committee. In February 2018, she became one of several strike leaders to receive death threats.
– Victor Hugo Vidal Piedrahita is a municipal councillor. He is involved in youth organizations, community action boards, and human rights groups, and is an organizer of the Black Communities Process (PCN).
– Olga Araujo is a human rights defender and popular educator for the Association for Social Research and Action (Nomadesc). She worked extensively to assist organizations in Buenaventura to prepare the community assemblies prior to the general strike.

When: Thursday November 8 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Sidney Smith Hall, University of Toronto
For more information: Kathy Price,

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