Canada exported $460,000 in “military goods” to Colombia in 2020
To hear from Colombian human rights defenders on this issue, sign up for our webinar happening today at 3:30 pm ET by clicking here.
On June 1, Global Affairs Canada reported that Canada had exported $460,338.87 in military goods to Colombia in 2020.
According to their report, 5 permits were issued in 2020 and 4 of those permits were utilized.
Most of those exported goods – $458,318.87 – fall under category 2-6 which Global Affairs defines as “Ground vehicles and components”. Global Affairs further notes that 2-6 includes “Tanks and other military armed vehicles and military vehicles” and “Armoured vehicles” and/or the components specifically designed for armoured vehicles.
While the report doesn’t specify, this may relate to the armoured personnel carriers exported to the Colombian national police or the light armoured vehicles exported to the Colombian army. (We have asked Global Affairs for more details.)
Human rights concerns
On June 2, Temblores reported that between April 28 and May 31, there were 3,789 cases of police violence, 1,649 arbitrary detentions and 25 victims of sexual violence committed by the Public Force in the context of the national strike.
Calls to suspend military sales to Colombia
Amnesty International has called on the United States to suspend weapons sales to Colombia until Colombian security forces fully comply with international law and standards on the use of force, abuses are impartially investigated, and there is full accountability for all human rights violations that have been committed by the Colombian authorities.
In a recent statement on Canadian arms exports to Colombia, the NDP says: “Canadians expect their government to be an active participant in building peace and not permitting companies to profit from human rights abuses in other countries.”
On June 2, the Los Angeles Daily News reported: “City Council [has] unanimously condemned police violence against protesters in Colombia and called for a suspension of U.S. arms and crowd control equipment aid to the Colombian government.”
And last month, representatives from the Regional Corporation in Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) stated at a meeting with Global Affairs: “We call on Canada and other countries to please talk about the violence in Colombia. If there is any sort of military support or technical assistance, please abstain from providing that military aid because they are attacking the civilian population.”
Today, June 3, Peace Brigades International is convening a webinar with three Colombian human rights defenders to discuss the issue of state violence against the ongoing national strike. Rachel Small from World Beyond War Canada will also speak to the issue of Canadian military exports to Colombia.
To register for today’s webinar, please click here.