Human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch want Colombian President Álvaro Uribe to “stop making false and dangerous accusations against human rights groups that criticize his government.”
The two organizations are bitter about Uribe’s reaction after the publication of their reports about Colombia. Uribe had accused Amnesty International of “blindness” and “fanaticism” and accused HRW Americas director José Miguel Vivanco of being a supporter of the FARC.
“We would welcome a chance to debate the real issues with the
president. But these statements belittle his office and give a
green light to those who wish to harm human rights activists in
Colombia,” Susan Lee, Americas director for Amnesty
International said Wednesday.
“These ridiculous accusations are symptomatic of an administration that
refuses to be held accountable for what it does,” said José Miguel
Vivanco of Human Rights Watch. “Instead of taking the country’s human
rights problems seriously, the Uribe government has sought to deflect
criticism by simply accusing the critics – no matter who they are – of
links to guerrillas.”
Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say they are still waiting for the
Colombian government to provide measured and detailed responses to the
serious human rights concerns raised in their two reports.