Human rights defender
Juli is a Colombian transgender activist and works for ‘Red Comunitaria Trans’, a Colombian organisation led by transwomen that fights against the discrimination, exclusion and rejection of transgender women in the Colombian society. The organisation does this through legal accompaniment, street and media campaigns, street ARTIVISM, trainings and the documentation of human rights violations. Red Comunitaria Trans thereby focuses specifically on victims of armed conflict, sex workers, drug addicts and homeless transgender people. In their activities, art and social mobilisation always play an important role.
Juli is a transgender woman herself and 27 years old. She has been working at Red Comunitaria Trans for five years and is currently the Director of Communications and Projects at the organisation.
Human rights violations in Colombia
Unfortunately, there is dire need for Juli’s work, as violence against the transgender community is still rampant in Colombia. Although legislation has been enacted to end discrimination and violence, this has not changed the situation on the ground. Currently, Colombia is even described as one of the most dangerous countries in the Americas for members of the LGBTI+ community. In 2020, for instance, more than 31 transgender people were killed in the country and the COVID-19 pandemic further worsened prejudices and put in place additional obstacles for the transgender community to access justice.  Moreover, Colombian law enforcement officers themselves are often the perpetrators of violence against members of the transgender community.
Threats and challenges
Juli and her organisation speak out against hate and discrimination and don’t shy away from publicly denouncing police violence and the discriminatory practices of state institutions. Unfortunately, this public position and their fight against these human rights violations makes them a target of severe threats.