US activist Teri Mattson was detained and deported from Colombia after attempting to enter the country as an observer for the 2022 Colombian presidential election taking place on May 29.
Mattson was detained shortly after arriving in the country on May 22 by Colombia’s immigration authorities. She was invited by one of Colombia’s most prestigious human rights organizations in Colombia, The Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights which was founded in 1979.
Teri Mattson is the Latin America Coordinator for CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism and to support peace and human rights initiatives. In recent years, Teri has overseen elections in five different Latin American countries.
CODEPINK and Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights were quick to condemn Mattson’s detention.
CODEPINK’s @hey_ter is an accredited international election observer. Despite this, she was denied entry into Colombia to observe the election next Sunday. We hope Teri will be able to observe the election and that Colombian voters will be able to express their democratic rights. https://t.co/fdXAgds5Xf
— CODEPINK (@codepink) May 22, 2022
The official reason given for denying her entry into the country was that she represented a risk to the state.
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin expressed her outrage.
BREAKING NEWS! CODEPINK denounces the deportation of our Latin America organizer Teri Mattson, who was traveling to Bogota as an international observer for the May 29 election. This is an outrage and we demand answers from the Duque government of Colombia. @codepink @CPDHColombia pic.twitter.com/5YXNztWBQe
— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) May 22, 2022
Mattson is a part of one of the many delegations of international observers who intend examine the upcoming Colombian presidential election.
One delegation Canadian delegation that was sent to Colombia was organized by Common Frontiers, The Colombian Working Group, and the Canada Colombia Solidarity Committee includes reporters from rabble.ca.
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