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News > Colombia

Colombian Rights Groups Demand International Inquiry on Repression

  • Struggle in Colombia keeps unrelented; widespread human rights violations.

    Struggle in Colombia keeps unrelented; widespread human rights violations. | Photo: Colombia Informa

Published 15 May 2021
Opinion

NGOs Temblores and Indepaz report 39 citizens dead at the hands of the police, 362 victims of physical violence, 16 sexual assaults.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested permission from the Colombian government to verify the human rights situation in the midst of a violent crackdown against a national strike launched by unions and social movements onl April 28.

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Colombian civil society representatives, students, academicians, and politicians have filed thousands of petitions to the IACHR to investigate the clear and constant violations of human rights by the security forces of President Ivan Duque.

The IACHR plans to meet with members of Colombian civil society, victims of repression, and government authorities before issuing its report.

In their petition to the IACHR, Temblores and Idepaz NGOs also requested a United Nations (UN) mission to verify police and military procedures at their headquarters and in the streets.

The report also notes that 39 citizens have been killed by the police, 362 victims of physical violence, 16 sexual assaults, and 133 victims of gunfire.

Despite the government's unwillingness to engage in a truthful dialogue, Francisco Maltes President of the Central Worker's Trade Union (CUT), and National Strike Committee's spokesman, stated they were willing to meet again whenever the government considers it.

Amid the severe repression by Duque's police forces, 55 U.S. congressmen called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to halt cooperation with the Colombian police.

They also asked Blinken to demand President Duque to respect the work of human rights defenders, and to warn the Colombian government that the U.S. stands against the army deployment in the streets.

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