PBI-Colombia participates in civil society virtual meeting with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Twitter photo by Asociacion Minga.

On May 26, PBI-Colombia took part in a civil society virtual meeting with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). 

That Commission had asked to visit Colombia, but on on May 24, Colombian vice-president Marta Lucia Ramirez deferred their request and stated: “At this time we believe that the supervisory bodies themselves must be expected to finish their work.”

On May 25, the IACHR issued this statement that highlights: “[We urge the State] to allow the IACHR to make an observation visit to the country, honoring its tradition with international human rights commitments.”

That statement adds: “The Commission stresses that at least 1,038 demonstrations have resulted in deaths, disappearances, injured persons and sexual assaults as a result of the disproportionate and illegitimate use of force.”

“According to the report of the Attorney General’s Office, since the beginning of the protests 43 people have lost their lives, of which 17 would have direct connection to demonstrations. For their part, civil society organizations have recorded 51 deaths in the context of the protests.”

“In addition, the Inter-American Commission finds the complaints of 132 persons who remain missing extremely serious and for whom the Attorney General’s Office keeps the urgent search mechanism active.”

“In turn, the IACHR expresses alarm and denounces at least 87 acts of sexual violence allegedly committed by law ensuing agents against female protesters, such as the case of the teenager who reported being sexually assaulted by several law authority agents in the city of Popayán and who subsequently committed suicide on 12 May.”

The full statement from the IACHR can be read here.

The IACHR is a body of the Organization of the American States (OAS). The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.

Canada is one of the 35 members of the OAS.

There is no reference on the Canadian Embassy in Colombia’s Twitter feed about the request of the IACHR to make an observation visit to Colombia, so it’s not clear at this time if Canada has taken a position on this matter.

To learn more about what’s happening in Colombia, we invite you to join our bilingual (English/Spanish) webinar by registering here.

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