Canadian Foreign Minister meets with Colombian Vice-President, highlights 10th anniversary of trade agreement

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau’s comments following a meeting with Colombia’s Vice-President stand in clear contrast with two recent reports on the human rights situation in that country.

On July 14, Garneau tweeted:

“I had an excellent conversation with my Colombian counterpart, @mluciaramirez [Marta Lucía Ramírez, Colombia’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs]. We discussed the Canada-Colombia relationship, the crisis in #Venezuela and our shared commitment to peace, democracy & human rights.”

The readout from that meeting notes:

“Minister Garneau emphasized Canada’s concerns regarding violence in Colombia, both in the context of social protests and against social leaders and ex-combatants working to implement peace. He called on Colombia to keep its commitment to fully investigate and hold anyone who has violated human rights to account for their actions. They also discussed efforts to increase protection for vulnerable groups.”

The virtual meeting between Minister Garneau and Vice-President Ramirez comes just days after reports from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH-IACHR) on July 7 and the International Observation Mission for the Guarantees of Social Protest and Against Impunity in Colombia on July 12.

The 41 recommendations from the CIDH-IACHR can be found here. The 54 recommendations from the International Observation Mission can be found here.

CIDH President Antonia Urrejola told journalists: “The commission confirmed that, repeatedly and in various regions of the country, the response of the state was characterized by excessive and disproportionate use of force.”

Notably, the International Observation Mission’s report called on the international community to suspend the sale of military weapons and riot control material, refrain from financing sectors and companies that threaten fundamental human rights in Colombia and to activate the suspension clauses in case of violation of rights of the different free trade and investment agreements signed by Colombia.

In contrast to that last point, the readout from the meeting between Garneau and Ramirez says: “[Garneau conveyed] that Canada and Colombia are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the bilateral free trade agreement.”

PBI-Canada Board member Heather Neun was part of the International Observation Mission and with PBI-Colombia met with officials at the Embassy of Canada in Colombia following the conclusion of that mission.

We continue to follow this situation very closely.

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *