Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau condemns “the disproportionate use of force by security forces” in Colombia

Published by Brent Patterson on

Yesterday, Sunday May 9, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries in Colombia over the last week.

Canada condemns the violence, including the disproportionate use of force by security forces, and urges that the violence cease. The right to peaceful assembly and association are the bedrock of democracy and must be promoted and protected at all times.

We are also concerned with the acts of vandalism and attacks directed against public officials responsible for the protection of all Colombian citizens. Canada calls upon those responsible for road blockades to allow the free passage of goods and services essential to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the Government of Colombia’s commitment to fully investigate and hold accountable those who may be guilty of violating human rights during these events. We encourage continued dialogue as an important means of de-escalating the current tensions.”

On May 9, the same day that Garneau issued his statement, the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz) and Temblores reported that at least 39 people have been killed by police violence since the national strike began on April 28.

They also documented 1,876 cases of violence by the Public Forces (police and military) over the past 11 days: 278 victims of physical violence, 963 arbitrary arrests, 356 violent interventions against peaceful protests, 28 victims of eye assault, 111 cases of gunfire and 12 victims of sexual violence.

On a call convened by Peace Brigades International on Wednesday May 5 with Global Affairs Canada, the Embassy of Canada in Colombia, the Regional Corporation in Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) and Above Ground, the ask was made that Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau make a statement about the situation in Colombia.

More on that meeting here.

 

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