Members of the Runnymede Group of Amnesty International met members of a Colombian peace group at their monthly meeting.

The visitors, from the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, included two members who had recently survived a murder attempt, allegedly by members of a paramilitary group.

The members maintain their right to not be drawn into Colombia’s armed conflict and refuse to take sides with any of the parties involved. They do not bear arms or provide information or logistical support to either side. They work as farmers, exporting Fair Trade cacao to Europe, including to Lush Cosmetics.

Amnesty group member, Helen Wallace, said: “It was amazing to meet these brave people face-to-face and to find out how important it is to send them letters of support.”

The visitors were accompanied by a translator from Peace Brigades International, which sends international observers to the community to help protect them from death threats. The members explained how international attention can help secure their safety.

Despite the signing of the Colombian Peace Agreement in 2016, the country has seen an alarming increase in killings of human rights activists.

Amnesty International’s Runnymede group has members from Windsor, Egham and surrounding areas. The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month, at the United Church, High Street, Egham, at 8pm.