Encounters with Human Rights Defenders
Dora Lucy Arias
Attorney, Member of the Board of Directors of Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Bogotá D.C.
Portrait: Verónica Giraldo Canal, 2012.
Fear is one of the most effective weapons that power wields to impose its will, because it destroys society’s creative capabilities. No one who lives in fear can dream or create. For example, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples cannot enjoy their territory because they spend each and every day defending it. In my case, the strongest antidote against fear has been indignation. My struggle against the abuse and the misuse of power has been the best choice of my life, and I would make it again if I had to. It has allowed me to live wonderful experiences, such as the daily construction of hope, of life, and of peace through organizations of women, students, or workers.