“Nos están matando” – “They’re killing us” – has become the cry of social movements across Colombia. As the world focuses on the demobilization of the FARC rebel group, another war is being waged on the country’s social leaders and human rights defenders – the very people key to building peace and shaping the new Colombia. The former head of Colombia’s victims’ unit, Alan Jara, describes what is happening as a ‘massacre in slow motion’ – referring to the 200 plus community leaders murdered since peace was signed in 2016. Activists are being targeted with impunity in the interests of territorial control, illegal mining and illicit crop cultivation.
THEY’RE KILLING US takes us to the department of Cauca, which bears a disproportionate share of that violence, where we follow two threatened human right defenders: Feliciano Valencia, an Indigenous Nasa community leader fighting for land rights and Héctor Marino, an Afro Descendent community leader trying to set up a community self-protection group – the Cimarron Guard.
In intimate, poignant scenes THEY’RE KILLING US demonstrates the stress and sacrifices these two men make on a daily basis to work for their community’s rights. By focusing on their personal lives we get behind the headlines and statistics (on average, one leader killed every four days) to see what is really at stake when peace is promised, but not delivered.
From the inside of bulletproof SUVs, on territory raids and marches with indigenous groups and joining funeral processions high in the mountains of Cauca, viewers are led into the real and deadly side of Colombia’s peace process.