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On the killing of human rights worker Zara Alvarez

A press statement by KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
August 17, 2020

We are in deep grief and indignation. Today, we laid to rest Ka Randy Echanis, one of those who helped established Karapatan and staunch peacebuilder and land rights defender. Tonight, we learned of the sad news that our former campaign and education director and paralegal in Negros, Zara Alvarez, was killed in Bacolod City.

Zara, 39, was imprisoned for nearly two years and after her release, she continued to work as Karapatan’s paralegal and as research and advocacy officer of the Negros Island Health Integrated Program.

Like Ka Randy, she was included as among those tagged as “terrorists” in proscription case of the Department of Justice filed in 2018. Her name and that of many others were stricken off the list, but the threats against her by alleged State forces continued.

We extend our condolences to Zara’s family and friends, as we and many other colleagues mourn the killing of a beloved human rights and health worker. We will never relent in pursuing justice for Zara, Ka Randy and all victims of extrajudicial killings. We will honor Zara’s legacy as a passionate, selfless and dedicated human rights worker, by continuing the struggle for the realization of people’s rights.

Justice for Zara Alvarez!

Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings!

human rights worker Zara Alvarez
Zara Alvarez (center) together with Rev. Jeong Jin Woo (second from left) in a high-level delegation visit in Negros Island last December. (Photo by ICHRP)