Non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch recognized that Colombia has improved in “all areas” during the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian media reported.
Chilean Jose Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director of HRW, said that Colombia improved in “all manner of areas” since President Santos took office in August 2010.
“Since then, [one must] recognize that with President Santos the country has improved its political climate, public debate, in all manner of things including obviously in the subject of human rights,” said Vivanco after a meeting with President Santos at Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace.
Vivanco said he welcomed “the possibility to maintain a sustained and respectful dialogue,” with the head of state and added that such a meeting “would not have been possible to have with former-president Uribe,” President Santos’ predecessor who ruled for eight years.
President Santos and Vivanco spoke about the Victims Law which seeks to give reparations to those affected by Colombia’s internal armed conflict. The Chilean expressed his interest in the safety of those who benefit from the law.
“We made some comments to the president about the implementation of this law. We are very interested in [the fact that] those who will benefit from the application of this law can invoke it without risk to their safety.”
He admitted that this is a very “complex” subject because “it is very difficult because one has to confront criminal gangs, armed groups which terrorize rural dwellers who have been displaced from their lands during the conflict and one has to create real conditions in order for them to exercise their rights.”