The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

International civil society organizations reject the excessive use of firearms and police abuse

International civil society organisations reject the excessive use of firearms and police abuse in the city of Bogotá that caused the death of 13 persons and 400 injured, 72 of them with firearms, and 3 women sexually harassed

The Cooperation Space for Peace, the International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia, and the civil society international organisations that have signed this statement, would like to express serious concerns about the killing of Colombian citizen Javier Ordóñez during his arrest, on the early morning of September 9, 2020. Mr. Ordóñez allegedly died after receiving blows to the head inflicted by members of the national police force. We would also like to express serious concerns about police abuses and the excessive use of firearms during protests that took place in reaction to this serious incident. According to a report from Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 13 people in Soacha and Bogotá were killed during these protests and, according to figures from the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, more than 400 people were injured, 72 of them due to firearms. In particular, we would like to highlight three cases in which three women were victims of sexual abuse and harassment, verbal abuse, arbitrary detention and bribery, reported by Colombian NGO Temblores to have been committed in a police station or CAI in the city of Bogotá.

OIDHACO sends alert about repressive measures used by State Security Forces during National Strike protests and calls for guarantees for those who are still protesting

On 21 November, mass protests began as part of the National Strike in Colombia, convened by wide-ranging and diverse sectors of society, and attended by hundreds of thousands of Colombian citizens. The protests are still ongoing in different parts of the

In a statement on 20 November, the International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia (OIDHACO) warned about the risks of excessive use of force by members of the state security forces during the demonstrations, as had occurred in previous protests, committed in particular by the National Police Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios – ESMAD). On 23 November, a young 18 year-old student named Dilan Cruz was shot at close range by a member of the ESMAD in Bogotá, and later died of his injuries. There have also been reports from citizens in different parts of the country regarding the disproportionate use of force against people protesting peacefully, by members of the ESMAD and other police squads.

The International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia asks for guarantees respect for protesters rights during the National Strike

Today, 25th April, a  National Strike will begin in Colombia, called for by various social sectors, to denounce the failure to implement the f commitments agreed upon  by the Colombian government in roundtables following previous protests, and that have not been included in the Government’s National Development Plan (PND). Additionally, the Strike calls upon the Colombian government to fully implement the Peace Agreement with the Farc-Ep.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DISAPPEARED: OIDHACO DEMANDS FULL SUPPORT FOR THE UNIT FOR THE SEARCH FOR PERSONS HELD FOR DISAPPEARED

Today, on the 30th of August, are remembered the victims of enforced disappearance. In Colombia this day is of special meaning given the great number of direct and indirect victims of enforced disappearance in the country.

According to the National Centre for Remembrance of History, there were almost 83.000 persons disappeared in Colombia since 1958. Different state bodies use different numbers nevertheless. One of the most urgent problems therefore is the creation of a single and unified register of victims of enforced disappearance as an essential step to reduce the high rates of impunity of over 98 % in these cases.

Enforced disappearance persists, fuelled by impunity – 25,007 victims of enforced disappearance in Colombia

Today marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. And tragically, in Colombia this unfortunate practice that has characterized Latin America for decades before the eyes of the international community persists.NB: According to recent data published by the National Center for Historical Memory (Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica), 25.007 people were victims of enforced disappearance between 1985 and 2012.

According to figures from the National Institute of Legal Medicine, on August 31, 2012, the cumulative figure for the total number of missing persons in Colombia was 74,361, of which 18,638 are victims of enforced disappearance. According to the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation, by May 2013, a total of 81,000 people had been reported missing, of which 20,000 are cases of enforced disappearance. Carlos Valdes, the director of the Institute of Legal Medicine, has stated that the most worrying aspect of this crime is that it is massively underreported (El Tiempo).