Amnesty International (AI) commended human rights progress made in Colombia under President Juan Manuel Santos, but said the country still faces serious problems, during a Thursday presentation in London, Colombian media reported.
At the presentation of the organization’s 2010 global human rights report, AI officials highlighted the strides that have been made since Santos took office in August 2010. They stated that “In marked contrast with the previous government, he [has] adopted a less hostile posture towards human rights defenders,” and congratulated the country on progression in the Victims Law legislation.
The humanitarian NGO also recognized that, regarding the numerous parapolitics scandals that have been uncovered, the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice has made a number of advances in investigations and convictions of politicians linked to paramilitary groups.
However, AI also mentioned that victims organizations and human rights NGOs continue to have “reservations” regarding the Victims Law legislation, and that “the human rights defenders and social leaders [have] continued to be victims of threats and homicides.”
What is more, Amnesty also stated that Colombia’s civilian population, and particularly Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, continues to suffer “the worst part of the long-standing armed conflict” and that security forces have often been as responsible as guerrillas and paramilitaries for the “grave abuses” of human rights.
Finally, AI denounced the slow progression of cases regarding extrajudicial killings, stating that, “the progress of the criminal investigations (…) regarding more than 2,300 of those homicides committed since 1985 continued to be slow.”