Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arrives in Colombia for June 7-11 working visit

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Photo by AFP.

On June 7, Reuters reported: “Representatives from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR-CIDH) met with Colombian officials on Monday ahead of a three-day visit to gather information about possible rights abuses during nearly six weeks of anti-government [national strike] protests.”

Meetings with civil society organizations

Reuters adds: “The CIDH will also meet with protest leaders, lawmakers and high court judges and collect testimony from victims of protest violence and their families.”

CNN further reports: “The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Antonia Urrejola [says that] during the working visit to Colombia, the IACHR will meet with various sectors, including official authorities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; representatives of civil society organizations, collectives, groups, trade unions and other representatives of sectors affected by the protests.”

Blu Radio also notes: “The IACHR will not only be present in Bogota and Cali to verify the facts of human rights violations, but will also visit Popayan and Tulua.”

Importance of the visit

France 24 comments: “The presence of the IACHR in the country becomes essential for the demonstrators, who have been denouncing abuses for weeks during the exercise of their right to protest. …[The IACHR-CIDH] visit gives a halo of hope to the protesters and, above all, to the families of the victims.”

DeJusticia says: “For the demonstrators, the fact that an international, independent and autonomous organization is coming that is going to issue a series of recommendations to the state is a step in the right direction and will help to mitigate the crisis.”

The hashtag being used on Twitter by human rights groups is #CIDHProtejaLaProtesta, which translates as a call for the CIDH to protect the protests.

Outcomes of the visit

The working visit will not produce a final report, but rather general observations and a media release with a series of recommendations addressed to the State.

Antonia Urrejola, the president of the IACHR-CIDH, has noted: “After the working visit, all the information received will be analyzed, and a public statement will be issued that will contain observations and recommendations that seek to collaborate in the strengthening of human rights institutions.”

Tweet by the PBI-Colombia accompanied José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR).

Tweet by the PBI-Colombia accompanied Corporation Judicial Freedom (CJL).

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