On 3 May 2014, human rights defender Ms Nevys Niño Rodríguez received a threatening text message which warned her to be careful and that she was under surveillance.
The day before, the human rights defender noticed that her movements were being followed by a man on a motorbike. These incidents follow repeated threats and acts of intimidation against human rights defenders in Atlántico.
Nevys Niño Rodríguez is the Technical Secretary of the Atlántico state chapter ofMovimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado (Movice) – The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes, and a member of the Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CPDH) – The Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights. Movice is a human rights organisation monitoring human rights violations committed by the state in the context of the armed conflict. The human rights organisation CPDH works to defend and promote human rights, encouraging public participation in government, documenting human rights violations and helping victims.
At 2:25pm, Nevys Niño Rodríguez received the following text message from the number 3206931828: “guerrilla bitch, people get killed for grassing, be careful, we’re watching you.” One day previously, on 2 May 2014, the human rights defender observed a man on a motorbike following her movements as she left a meeting in the centre of Barranquilla that a number of Movice Atlántico members were attending.
Movice Atlántico and its members have received regular death threats and harassment in the past. In March 2014, human rights defender Juan Martinez, member of Movice Atlántico and leader of Asotracampo, was the victim of renewed death threats and an attempted physical attack. Five months before, on 30 October 2013, a threatening email was sent from email@example.com to, amongst others, CPDH Barranquilla and Movice Atlántico, with the subject line “barranquilla free of guerrillas.”
Front Line Defenders is concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Nevys Niño Rodríguez and her colleagues, particularly as the threats and surveillance appear to be solely related to their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.