MPs from all parties of Britain’s parliament call for a complete end of
military aid for Colombia’s military in response to the human rights
abuses and murders committed by the security forces, the BBC reported
The motion as presented in British Parliament
According to the BBC, a so-called Early Day Motion to withdraw all military support received the initial support of 242 (of 646) lawmakers from all parties.The support makes its the 4th (of 1,981) most supported motions presented to Parliament.
The lawmakers also welcomed the findings of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
which said UK military assistance to Colombia was “inappropriate” given
the “serious” human rights situation in the south American country.
The UK Foreign Office said it shared many of the MPs’ concerns, but
added: “We do not believe that isolating Colombia will help solve its
problems,”the BBC quoted a Foreign Office spokesman.
“Quite the opposite, we believe that we
have a strong interest in helping Colombia address its problems of
violence and exclusion, human rights abuses and illegal drugs. We
cannot turn our back on these problems,” the Foreign Office said.
Britain ended its support to Colombia’s Ministry of Defense in March, but never revealed how much money it spends in Colombian counter-narcotics operations, citing “security concerns.”
The MPs and the country’s largest labor union will launch a group called Friends of Colombia to protest the murder and arbitrary imprisonment of trade unionists and human rights workers.
The Colombian authorities say the death toll is lower than humanitarian
and foreign governments report, and it is working to improve human
rights and levels of impunity in the country’s military.