The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

Newsletter 4

European Policy on Colombia The 23 May 2008, in Paris and simultaneously to its general assembly, OIDHACO presented to the press its recommendations on Colombia for the Slovenian and French Presidencies of the European Union (EU).

The 23 May 2008, in Paris and simultaneously to its general assembly, OIDHACO presented to the press its recommendations on Colombia for the Slovenian and French Presidencies of the European Union (EU). The document, which is supported by 60 European organisations, had been previously submitted to the Slovenian and French governments (respectively the 7 and 22 May 2008).

Newsletter 16

Colombia must comply with human rights recommendations “The defence of human rights is a firm and unequivocal commitment”(1) . With these words the new President of Colombia announced his political good will to comply with human rights. Nevertheless, w

The defence of human rights is a firm and unequivocal commitment”(1) . With these words the new President of Colombia announced his political good will to comply with human rights. Nevertheless, we believe that his words are not enough. Despite frequent reports in the Colombian and international press, that the human rights situation in Colombia is improving, we believe that this is not the case. We recognise that the situation is not static, and that there are glimpses of change on the horizon. However, we cannot yet talk about improvements. The situation continues to be serious and of great concern, and should be viewed as such by both the Colombian Government and the European Union.

Newsletter 6

Colombia and the EU’s Scheme of Generalized tariff Preferences (SGP+) Opening a European Commission investigation on Colombia may be the adequate pressure mechanism for Colombian authorities to take United Nations and ILO recommendations seriously.

In 2005, the European Union revised its system of customs preferences for the market access of products coming from developing countries.  The new mechanism, known as “SGP+” includes two country categories: the less developed countries, for which the SGP+

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 7

Colombia goes before the United Nations Human Rights Council The human rights situation in Colombia was examined on 10 December by the United Nations Human Rights Council through the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The human rights situation in Colombia was examined on 10 December by the United Nations Human Rights Council through the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).  Both national and international human rights organisations (in their widest sense) presented reports and now pin their hopes on the outcome of the debate.  However, they are aware of the historic failure of the Colombian government and guerrilla groups to comply with international recommendations, the latter in relation to their responsibility regarding international humanitarian law.

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.

Newsletter 11

When the state intimidates, persecutes and issues threats DAS’s illegal espionage strategy In February 2009, the Colombian press uncovered the scandal of illegal phone-tapping by DAS…

In February 2009, the Colombian press uncovered the scandal of illegal phone-tapping by DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad – Administrative Security Department); the targets are human rights defenders, journalists, opposition politicians, and Supreme Court judges. Since then, more information has come to light and more allegations made, thanks in part to the Fiscalía (Attorney General’s Office) which seized documents from DAS during a formal search.