Colombia welcomes UN’s new human rights chief, but under pressure

Alberto Brunori (Image: YouTube)

Colombia accredited the United Nations’ new human right chief, Alberto Brunori, on Wednesday, but only after international pressure.

The Italian diplomat was allegedly appointed more half a year ago, but migration authorities failed to timely give him his work visa.

The delay forced the UN tot suspend the presentation of its annual human rights report, which has now been pushed to the beginning of April.


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More than 400 organizations wrote President Juan Manuel Santos, international diplomats and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to demand an urgent accreditation.

The Italian diplomat replaced Todd Howland, who was the UN’s top human rights official in the country since 2012 and has returned to Geneva.

Brunori, 52, is a heavyweight in human rights affairs and previously led the international organization’s Central America office.

In Guatemala, the diplomat worked closely with Ivan Velasquez, the Colombian attorney whose investigations in Colombia ended up in the incarceration of scores of politicians, including the cousin of former President Alvaro Uribe.

The Supreme Court is currently investigating the former president for his alleged involvement in the formation of a far-right death squad.

Brunori also worked in Afghanistan, Mexico and Panama.

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