Encounters with Human Rights Defenders
Jorge Hernán Palacio Salazar
Attorney, Banco de Datos de Derechos Humanos y Violencia Política, Quindío Department
Portrait: Verónica Giraldo Canal, 2012.
This is what transnational corporations came to in Colombia: to threaten communities and expel them from their lands in order to exploit it. Protecting our lands and the environment is what has led me to the defense of human rights. I have a clear idea of my historical role in society. What the State and the armed groups are doing is simply unacceptable. A lot of people say: “Someone has to do this kind of work, but it is not up to me.” Well, I am that someone, because the necessary resources have been invested in my training and because I am able to do it. When the rights of others are violated, I feel as if it were mine that were violated, those of my children to have a better future, those of society in general. This is what gives me strength.