The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR) is recognised nationally and internationally for representing emblematic cases of human rights violations in Colombia, both within the Colombian justice system as well as before the Inter-American System of Human Rights.

Over more than 30 years, the work of CCAJAR’s lawyers has resulted in landmark decisions that have improved access to justice for many more victims of the country’s long-running conflict. The price has been a life under constant threat. Serious security incidents include government officials making statements linking CCAJAR’s lawyers to insurgent organisations, and death squads publicly identifying them as “military targets”.

PBI has accompanied CCAJAR since 1995. Luis Guillermo Pérez, president of Colombia's José Alvear Restrepo Lawyer's Collective (CAJAR) spoke to PBI about the horrific smear campaign against the Collective and the threats faced by human rights defenders in the face of repression.