The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

Newsletter 1

From February 4 to March 6 The march on 4 February in protest at FARC-EP and kidnappings was an important political event, in which a significant proportion of the Colombian population took part.

The march on 4 February in protest at FARC-EP and kidnappings was an important political event, in which a significant proportion of the Colombian population took part. It was a peaceful demonstration targeted fundamentally at one of the parties to Colombia’s internal armed conflict. FARC-EP has been responsible for serious violations of International Humanitarian Law which has, without doubt, caused many Colombians to show their condemnation of this guerrilla group.

Newsletter 3

The Colombian judicial system begins to break through the inertia of impunity For those of us in European countries who are working for the respect of human rights in Colombia, it is very gratifying to see the advances made by the Colombian judicial

It is important to highlight the judicial investigations of soldiers over the massacre in San José de Apartadó (February 2005) and over the disappearances from the Palace of Justice (November 1986). Equally notable are the investigations into the relationship between politicians and paramilitaries – known as ‘parapolitics’ – which have been taken forward by Colombia’s Supreme Court and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.  These have resulted, at the time of writing, in 61 members of Colombia’s Congress being under criminal investigation because of their relationship with paramilitary groups, with 29 of them in prison. The latter include Senator Mario Uribe, nephew and political ally of President Uribe, who was refused asylum by the Costa Rican government.  The fact that many of them, suspected of being responsible for human rights violations, are in police custody, is an additional indicator of the determination to provide justice.

Newsletter 9

Human rights in Colombia under the microscope of the United Nations and European Union Both the follow-up to the conclusions of the Universal Periodic Review of Colombia and the dialogue on human rights between the European Union (EU) and Colombia…

Both the follow-up to the conclusions of the Universal Periodic Review of Colombia and the dialogue on human rights between the European Union (EU) and Colombia offer opportunities to influence policy changes in Bogotá in favour of greater respect for human rights.  We hope that the international community and particularly the EU and its member states will not let this opportunity pass by.

Newsletter 8

Insisting on humanitarian agreements and political negotiation The recent unilateral liberation of 6 people by the FARC-EP is a positive step, made possible by the crucial role played by Colombian civil society.

The recent unilateral liberation of 6 people by the FARC-EP is a positive step, made possible by the crucial role played by Colombian civil society.  It is proof that, in Colombia, humanitarian solutions are possible when humanitarian preoccupations

Newsletter 10

European Union – Colombia free trade treaty: the EU’s prestige at stake The third round of trade negotiations between the EU and the three Andean countries (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) was held in Brussels from 4 to 8 May.

The third round of trade negotiations between the EU and the three Andean countries (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) was held in Brussels from 4 to 8 May.  These negotiations have, since January 2009, replaced negotiations for an association agreement between the EU and the Andean Community.