Article by PBI Canada.
Recent accompaniments during the pandemic
On February 2, PBI-Honduras noted that it had accompanied CEHPRODEC to court the previous week to support an anti-dam activist planning to file a legal action against defamatory comments made about her by a journalist.
On January 20, PBI-Colombia noted that it had accompanied the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó during a day of collective work the previous week.
On January 12, PBI-Kenya attended a Missing Voices planning meeting.
On January 11, PBI-Guatemala accompanied the Human Rights Law Firm at a court hearing in the high-profile case of the Hogar Seguro shelter fire.
On December 11, 2020, PBI-Colombia accompanied Argemiro Bailarín Bailarín from the Embera community of Alto Guayabal to a meeting at the Irish Embassy.
On November 28, 2020, PBI-Mexico accompanied the People’s Front in Defence of Water and Land at a march against the PIM energy megaproject. On January 21, PBI-Mexico also accompanied the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre at a virtual meeting with representatives from seven embassies.
On February 2, PBI-Colombia posted on their Instagram page: “During the last year PBI Colombia has adapted the way we accompany within the restrictions in place in Colombia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“This meant a huge increase in virtual and telephone accompaniment and meetings with organisations.”
PBI-Colombia adds: “Although we are now able to accompany organizations physically, many processes are still being carried out online. [In the photo above] a field volunteer accompanies a judicial audience virtually from our office in Bogotá.”
Similarly, PBI-Guatemala posted in their most recent monthly information package:
“We continue to accompany human rights defenders through phone calls and virtual meetings. We have also resumed some face-to-face activities where possible, always assessing the necessary health protection measures to ensure the safety of both the people accompanied and the PBI team. We have also held virtual meetings with civil society organizations and the diplomatic corps.”
PBI-Mexico has also resumed some in-person accompaniments (including at this march) and highlighted in their January 2021 e-newsletter:
“PBI Mexico continues to provide remote accompaniment to human rights defenders, conducting permanent monitoring and analysis, and informing the international community and relevant authorities about the situation of human rights defenders in Mexico.”
And this past summer, PBI-Honduras posted on their Facebook page:
“At PBI Honduras we continue working from the field. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have strengthened our telephone accompaniment to organizations that defend human rights in Honduras. We constantly monitor the current situation and we are always alert to act in case of need.”
To register for a PBI-USA/PBI-Canada webinar on Sunday February 28 that will provide information and answer questions about how to volunteer with PBI’s frontline projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, please click here.