The Colombian government is “in absolute denial” about the human rights
situation in the country, Amnesty International said Thursday.
The human rights NGO published a devastating report about human rights abuses and the authorities’ measures taken to avoid them.
“The Colombian authorities are in absolute denial, even refusing to admit there’s an armed conflict in their country, but people are telling us a very different story,” Marcelo Pollack, Colombia researcher at Amnesty International, said.
“It’s impossible to solve a problem without admitting there is one. Denial only condemns more people to abuse and death,” she added.
According to Amnesty, the number of civilians killed in the conflict went from 1,300 in 2006 to 2,700 in 2007. The army is responsible for the largest number of murders. The report says the military killed 330 civilians, paramilitary forces killed 300 and leftist guerrillas killed some 260.
The report states that 305,000 Colombians were forced from their homes in 2007, an almost 40 percent increase compared to 2006. This figure supports earlier reports by the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement, who had already warned for an explosive growth of displacement.
Amnesty repeats paramilitary groups are still active, that human rights abusers are enjoying an almost complete impunity and the Government is not respecting the work of human rights and labor activists.
To force the Colombian government to improve the human rights abuses and murders on civilians by its armed forces, the NGO asks Colombian allies like the United States to no longer deliver weapons to the country.
The Colombian government has not yet responded to the report and says it will have to study it first.