Friday, 6 March 2009

Colombia News

1) Excellent quote from politician George Miller on Plan Colombia and Beyond. Colombia's Vice-President didn't much like it though:

It was referred to a number of times here about the beauty of the country of Colombia. And, for those who have visited Colombia, it would not take more than a few seconds to realize why people say that, because of the spectacular nature of the country and its natural assets. And of course, when you meet its people. But that is not a substitute for a serious inquiry into human rights.

I can remember standing at the American embassy, with the American ambassador, at the height of the violence in Chile, and him telling me that this is a beautiful country, and that I should really go to Valparaiso and enjoy the beaches, and see the people who use the beaches, and I should go shopping and enjoy the people who are shopping, and that my concerns were misplaced, because it’s such a beautiful country. My concerns weren’t misplaced. It took almost 30 years, but we brought Mr. Pinochet to justice.

Colombia's Vice-President Attacks House Democrats

2) Meanwhile, there's more condemnation of Colombia's human rights situation:
Extrajudicial executions, difficulty for victims’ families to gain access to justice, persecution of human rights defenders, kidnappings, and continued armed activity by previously demobilised members of paramilitary groups are the main concerns of the office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR Colombia).

"Situations Remains Extremely Serious" (IPS)

3) A Colombian warlord has been extradited to the US. But this isn't good news for human rights groups, who suspect that he was removed from the country before he could reveal too much about official links to paramilitaries.

Columbia warlord extradited to US (BBC)

Human rights groups object to Colombian warlord's extradition (Guardian)

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