Human rights defender
Adil is a human rights lawyer from Colombia working on land restitution cases, and the prosecution of the (para)military in the northern Bolivar region. He represents victims of the armed conflict for reparation and land restitution issues and works for the organization Justicia y Derecho. He mainly represents displaced and indigenous peoples and peasant communities. Alongside his work at the Justicia y Derecho, together with a group of lawyers, Adil has presented judicial actions against the government for the violation of human and environmental rights, as a result of the eradication of illicit crops. Adil is constantly interacting with civil society organisations, embassies, as well as, civil authorities, and judicial actors, denouncing the relationship between the business sector, politicians and a paramilitary groups with the diverse and continuous human rights violations in various departments of the country.
Human rights violations in Colombia
In 2016 the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia concluded an agreement to end their 52 year armed conflict. Despite this, civilians remain at risk of egregious human rights violations by pre-existing National Liberation Army guerrillas and paramilitary groups. Whilst the Land Restitution Unit created under the FARC-Santos accords, has made progress, having returned around 300,000 hectares of stolen land during the armed conflict, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), claims that criminal prosecution of those responsible is lacking.
Threats and harassment
Because of his work, Adil was declared military target, and placed on the blacklist in San Onofre, his natal town in northern Colombia. An attempt was made on his life in the city of Cartagena in 2007. He then presented legal complaints against members of the government, for political repression, defamation and assassination attempts. He has been provided with State protection, in the form of a car and bodyguards, however these are at his disposal only within his natal city. Yet, Adil’s work requires him to travel in a frequent basis while lacking security resources.