Urgent Action Update: PROTECT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDER AT RISK (Colombia: UA 50.22)

July 15, 2022

On July 5, 2022, Yuli Velásquez, President of the Federation of Santander Fishers for Tourism and Environment (FEDEPESAN), an environmental organization operating in Barrancabermeja, Colombia, was the victim of an armed attack. Two unknown assailants shot at her, harming her bodyguard. Members of FEDEPESAN have previously suffered other armed attacks and threats. We urge Colombia’s National Protection Unit (UNP) to grant protective measures to Yuli that adequately respond to the level of risk Yuli and FEDEPESAN members are facing.

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on September 9, 2022.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 50.22. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.


Mr. Alfonso Campo Martínez
Director of the National Protection Unit
Cra. 63 ##14-97 Bogotá, Colombia
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 387 8338
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ColombiaEmbUSA
Facebook: @ColombiaEmbassyUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Mr. Campo Martínez,

I am writing to express concern for the safety of the members of FEDEPESAN, an organization committed to the defense, promotion, and protection of human rights and the environment in the Magdalena medio region in Colombia. Due to their brave work, various members of the organization had been victims of attempt of murder. The last one happened on July 5, 2022, at approximately 4:32 PM when Yuli Velásquez, president of FEDEPESAN, was approached by two unknown persons who shot from a motorcycle. Yuli managed to take cover, but her bodyguard was shot.

We call on the National Protection Unit to immediately reassess the security situation of Yuli Velásquez and, in consultation with the defender, grant proper protective measures according to the risk she faces.