UN Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, examined the
situation of human rights in Colombia in the last two weeks and found
that the perspectives for improvements are gloomy.
The main problems regarding human rights in Colombia is that the prosecution has not enough staff and resources nor sufficient training on International Humanitarian Law, Alston told El Espectador.
Furthermore, the UN Rapporteur discovered that in some areas of the country military judges “do everything in their power to prevent the transfer of clear cases of human rights violations to the [national] justice system”. As a result, he said, there are often delays which jeopardize the value of testimony and evidence.
However, Alston acknowledged that there has been a breakthrough in security policy since 2002. The number of homicides decreased but the policies to protect human rights are not applied in all cases.
The Rapporteur is currently in Colombia for an official UN investigation into the ‘false positives’ scandal that implicates more than a 1,000
members of the armed forces in the murder of some 1,700 civilians.