The State, Companies and Civil Society Commit to collaborate in the protection of the life and physical integrity of people

The signatory institutions, companies and organizations,

As a result of homicides, threats, attacks and intimidation carried out against some citizens, including social leaders and human rights defenders;

Considering the obligations of the Colombian State under international and regional human rights treaties such as the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the need to strengthen its application to make them effective;

Considering the initiatives of the human rights organizations within the United Nations that recommend scaling up actions aimed at the protection of citizens in general, with emphasis on social leaders and human rights defenders;

Considering that the Colombian Constitution establishes the duty of the State to protect all persons residing in Colombia and establishes, in the development of fundamental rights, that the right to life is inviolable, that every person is guaranteed the freedom to express and disseminate their thoughts and opinions, and that peace is a right and a duty of obligatory compliance;

Considering the initiative of the Regional Center of Responsible Enterprises and Entrepreneurship CREER, a civil society organization that develops actions to strengthen the exercise of human rights in the framework of business activities, which has the support of the Presidential Council for Human Rights to design and activate a roadmap and protocol in order to articulate public and private actions that promote the prevention of human rights violations against people´s lives and physical integrity;

Considering the work that has been carried out by the Working Group on Human Rights and Coal, composed of the Presidential Human Rights Advisor’s Office, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Mining Agency, the companies Cerrejón, Drummond Ltd. Colombia and the Grupo Prodeco, and Ideas for Peace Foundation, to contribute from this sector with good practices in human rights;

Reiterating the commitment of the private sector to respect human rights;

Convinced of the need to join forces between the State, civil society and companies for peaceful coexistence and the promotion of the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, and aware of the urgent need to ensure the protection of all people, with special emphasis in social leaders and human rights defenders;

Under the national legal framework applicable to the actions of the State for the protection of social leaders and human rights defenders, including Decree 1066 of 2015 in regard to the prevention and protection of the rights to life, liberty, integrity and safety of individuals, groups and communities, as well as the modifications introduced by Decrees 2078 of 2017 and 2252 of 2017 and other instruments for the protection of social leaders and human rights defenders,


We manifest:

  1. Our total rejection of all acts of violence, stigmatization and threats against the life and integrity of any person, with special emphasis on social leaders and human rights defenders.
  2. Our recognition of the work carried out by human rights defenders and social leaders for the defense of rights and the attainment of a more just and egalitarian society; as well as the need to guarantee their participation and to generate actions for their protection as a fundamental pillar in the construction of peace.
  3. That we reiterate the commitment of the State to protect people against the violation of their rights; from the private sector to respect human rights, and from civil society together with the previous ones, for the promotion of the exercise of human rights at all times and places.
  4. And that we will continue joining efforts to work harmoniously, in accordance with the competences of the signatories here, in the collaboration between the State, the companies and civil society for the development of actions and mechanisms around the protection and respect for people´s lives and physical integrity, with special emphasis on social leaders and human rights defenders.

Finally, we call on other public institutions, companies and civil society organizations to join this initiative.

In record of the foregoing, we sign in the city of Valledupar on the 7th day of the month of June 2018,


National Government

Presidential Avisor on Human Rights

Paula Gaviria Betancur


Minister of Mines and Energy

Germán Arce  Zapata                  


Minister of the Interior      

Guillermo Rivera Flórez                                                             


Companies of the Working Group on Human Rights and Coal

Drummond Ltd.

José Miguel Linares




Roberto Junguito



Grupo Prodeco

Mark McManus




Juan Carlos Gómez



Civil Society Organizations



Luis Fernando de Angulo

Executive Director


Ideas for Peace Foundation – FIP

Maria Victoria Llorente

Executive Director