PBI speaks about enforced disappearances in Kenya, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico at Human Rights Council session in Geneva

Published by Brent Patterson on

On September 20, Kim-Mai Vu of Peace Brigades International presented at the United Nations in Geneva during the interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

PBI stated:

PBI welcomes the report of the Working Group.

In Kenya, we express our concern about 36 enforced disappearances in 2021 documented by the Missing Voices network. It is alarming that there is no law in Kenya that criminalizes enforced disappearances. We emphasize the need for Kenya to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, which is part of the manifesto pledges of the new president.

In Colombia, we welcome the recent recognition of competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to examine individual complaints and interstate communications, after years of insistence. We regret that Forced disappearances persist: For example, in Buenaventura, the largest port in the country, and involved in some 17 FTAs, since 2018 at least 800 people have been forcibly disappeared. We highlight the serious risk faced by women searing for the disappeared: it is essential to promote the Bill for the Comprehensive Protection of their rights. Likewise, the Prosecutor’s Office must seriously investigate the multiple and very serious attacks against relatives of the disappeared, such as the FNEB (Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation). Finally, it is urgent to convene the Selection Committee for the new director of the Search Unit for Disappeared Persons (UBPD) of the transitional justice system.

In Honduras, despite the request of the Inter-American Court, the forced disappearance of four Garífuna leaders from Triunfo de la Cruz in 2020 has not yet been clarified. We are concerned about the possible relationship between the disappearance and the failure to comply with the ruling of the Inter-American Court on land titles of the ancestral territories of the community.

In Mexico, Daniel Armando Guzmán Ramos was only 17 years old on 4 June 2012 when he was forcibly disappeared in Ciudad Jiménez, Chihuahua. The Paso del Norte Human Rights Center (PdN) reports that, according to the investigation file, the municipal police of Jiménez were involved in his disappearance, which would classify the case as an Enforced Disappearance. Although the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Violations has Daniel´s case under their jurisdiction, it has yet to be recognized as an Enforced Disappearance even though ten years have passed since he was disappeared.

The video of this presentation can be seen here (starting at 1:43:43).


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