Yomaira Mendoza and Enrique Cabezas are land rights defenders from north west Colombia, forced into exile in August 2014 due to threats against them.

For more information the following three articles were written by British journalists who met Yomaira and other defenders in Colombia in 2014:

 

  • Meet the women who fear for their lives every day, By Aly Walsh, 12th May 2014. This article in the Derby Telegraph focuses on Yomaira’s story and also the story of Ledis Tuiran Gonzalez from the humanitarian zone of Caño Manso where PBI accompanies from time to time.

  • ‘Don’t think you are safe’ By Thomas Mortensen, 24th September 2014. This blog in the New Internationalist focuses on Yomaira’s story and the current peace negotiations in Cuba.

For even more detailed information about the circumstances which caused the forced exile of Yomaira and Enrique please see the following two news articles. In addition, they both cover the context of the north western region of Colombia, the mass forced displacement in the late 1990s caused by the army and paramilitaries, the subsequent occupation of the land by powerful individuals and businesses, the organised returns & formation of humanitarian zones, the murder of a number of land claimants, the case of the Cacarica community in Chocó, the implementation of the Victims Law and the Land Restitution process and the work of Father Alberto from the Inter-church Justice and Peace Commission:

  • Waiting for the promised land By Madeleine Davies, 8th May 2014. This article in the Church Times also mentions some of the successes achieved by the communities and human rights organisations accompanied by PBI.