Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzon and U.S. ambassador to Bogota Michael McKinley on Thursday renewed an agreement to promote human rights in Colombia.
The purpose of the agreement is to “renew a framework for international cooperation” between the Office of the Colombia’s Vice President and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Under the agreement, Colombia agrees to strengthen the protection of human rights, with the “technical and financial support” of USAID. This involves measures such as helping local governments to prioritize human rights, strengthening “the capacity of the national government to respond to cases of human right violations,” and promoting respect for human rights through a civilian education program.
The countries also agreed to review the “design, structure and operation of [Colombia’s] Presidential Human Rights Program.”
Under the agreement the Office of the Vice President will collaborate with the U.S. Ministry of Foreign Affairs “on issues relating to international coordination” on international humanitarian law.
In 2009 Colombia and the U.S. signed a bilateral Country Assistance Agreement on social, economic, and humanitarian aid.
A 2009 report from the United States Department of State says that in the previous year “although [Colombia saw] significant human rights abuses … the government continued to make efforts to confront and address these abuses.”