David Rabelo is a Colombian human rights defender who has been imprisoned for over two years and until recently had been waiting for a verdict in his case for more than six months. On 5th December his verdict was made official and he has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison.
David has been convicted on the basis of evidence from an imprisoned paramilitary, who was convicted a result of David’s human rights work. The paramilitary was found guilty of committing two massacres, and in exchange for his testimony against David, his prison sentence was reduced from 40 to a maximum of eight years.
In recent months it was discovered that the state prosecutor leading the case against David’s case had been previously banned from public office, because of his involvement in a forced disappearance of a young man when he worked for the Colombian police in 1991. Even after this was uncovered the prosecutor was allowed to continue this case against David.