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Monday, July 25, 2011

UNSC Condemns Terrorist Attacks in Norway, Membership Quick Look

Colombia

The 45 year old internal conflict is causing wide spread human rights suffering. There are left wing guerillas, right-wing paramilitary organizations, and governmental forces all of which are fighting, ostensibly, each other. All of the parties to the conflict are responsible for human rights violations. Armed opposition groups, including the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army) have committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including high-profile kidnappings. Colombia’s paramilitary groups, which have sown terror across Colombia for decades, were supposedly demobilized in a process initiated in 2003 by the previous administration of President Álvaro Uribe, but many such groups continue to operate in many parts of the country. The Colombian government routinely fails to bring to justice military officials who have collaborated with these illegal paramilitary groups as they carry out atrocities or even participate in civilian killings

Over recent years, Afro-descendant communities living in departments bordering the Pacific coast of Colombia have faced repeated death threats, killings and forced displacement at the hands of paramilitaries, either acting alone or with the collusion of the security forces. Why are Colombian government forces and paramilitary groups attacking these black communities? Mineral wealth. Money.

Our own State Department, under Hillary Clinton, reports that "Political and unlawful killings remained an extremely serious problem". (More serious for the dead than the killer, I assume. Wow, such harsh language like this should put a shiver up the legs of those perpetrators).

Recall, if you will, the previous posting that talked about Forced Disappearances. Colombia was listed as one of those states conducting them. The State Department reports that forced disappearances, many of them politically motivated, continued to occur. A joint report by NGOs Latin America Working Group and U.S. Office on Colombia in December reported that the government's National Search Commission had documented a total of 51,000 forced disappearances registered in Colombia as of November 2010, with 7,197 found alive, 1,366 found dead, and 460 listed as "annulled."

April 15, 2011 saw a report come out at http://www.colombiareports.com/ that the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) included Colombia in a list of countries that need to improve their protection of human rights.

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