The Government will defend its human rights record before the United Nations’ human rights council in Geneva Wednesday.
Colombia’s human rights record came under scrutiny after U.S. criticism on the systematic murder of unionists — and news broke about members of the security forces murdering civilians to enlarge army body counts of skirmishes with rebels, some of which may never had taken place.
Other charges include police shooting at a peaceful indigenous protest.
The government now promises improvement.
According to the vice-President, 748 members of the security forces are currently linked to cases of enforced disappearances. 242 of these were warranted to be arrested and 110 were already arraigned.
The government said it should strengthen the Attorney General’s role in investigating members of the security forces, some of whom suspected for human rights violations such as murder, torture and rape.
Colombia also admits it has done too little to remove the landmines placed by fighters in the country’s 50-year civil war with rebel groups. It has failed to reach an agreed upon number of areas to be cleaned of mines, which also target civilians.
The government says forced displacement, to include indigenous populations from their native lands, is the country’s largest human rights violation. The government says the official number of 2.6 million displaced is probably a positive estimate and there is not a sufficient policy to help these victims of the war.
It is the first time the Uribe administration has accepted so much blame for human rights violations committed under its rule.