US report condemns human rights abuses in Colombia

Posted on Feb 27 2014 - 7:27pm by Editor

Human Rights abuses in Colombia were a focus of the US Department of State’s annual international human rights practices report, released on Thursday.

According to the human rights report, which analyses a number of countries around the world, the key issues in Colombia are an inefficient judiciary, forced displacement, corruption, and social discrimination.

MORE: Violence against human rights workers in Colombia up 2.4% in 2013, murders up 11.6%: Report

The report draws attention to the issue of judge and jury intimidation, which limits the state’s ability “to effectively prosecute individuals accused of human rights abuses and to bring to trial former members of paramilitary groups.”

Judicial corruption was reportedly enabled by the “availability of drug-trafficking revenue.”

Social discrimination against groups such as the indigenous population and Afro-Colombians was also an item highlighted in the report, and the related problem of prolific forced displacement.

MORE: Mass displacement of Afro-Colombians in southwest Colombia

Other highlighted issues included extrajudicial and unlawful killings, insubordinate military collaboration with members of illegal armed groups, overcrowded and insecure prisons, harassment of human rights groups, and child labor.

The report also highlights the abuses committed by guerilla groups, the FARC and ELN. These included political killings, use of land mines, kidnapping, and recruitment of child soldiers.

MORE: FARC systematically recruits child soldiers: Study

However the  report acknowledged that the Colombian Government has continued in its efforts to prosecute and punish perpetrators, including members of the security services.

The report also increased resources for the prosecutor general’s office, prioritized human rights cases, and employed a new contextual analysis strategy.

Sources

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 (US Department of State)

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