Colombia’s Foreign Ministry is reportedly seeking information in order to “undermine” the annual report of the United Nations’ Human Rights Office that is expected in February.
According to news website La Linea del Medio, the foreign ministry’s top human rights official, Mirza Gnecco, sent out the curious request after receiving the UN’s basic conclusions ahead of the formal presentation in Geneva.
These conclusions paint a bleak picture of a deteriorating human rights situation in Colombia, according to La Linea del Medio.
In an email, Gnecco reportedly called on the government agencies to “collect relevant information, not only related to regulations, policies, plans, judicial investigations and protective measures, but also in order to undermine the assertions, concepts and indicators put forward by the Office” of UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet.
The government agencies are going to have to do their best to counter claims that poverty went up 1.8% since 2016, that the 15 extrajudicial executions carried out by the security forces in 2018 is the highest number in the past three years and that the 125 people killed in 34 massacres is “the highest number since 2014.”
To complicate the government’s defense even further, the UN Human Rights Office reportedly will express its concern about the violent repression of peaceful protests against President Ivan Duque “that would have violated international norms and standards relating to the use of force.”
The UN report reportedly will also contradict Duque’s most recent claim that the killing of human rights defenders and community leaders dropped 25% in 2018. In fact, La Linea del Medio reported, the UN office will criticize the government over its “numbers war.”
Colombia’s Foreign Ministry, which nearly ejected the UN’s human rights office from Colombia last year, did not get the message apparently.