The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) arrived in Colombia Monday to determine whether or not the country can be taken off the commission’s human rights “blacklist.”
The IACHR is visiting Colombia December 3-7 to determine the country’s human rights status, which in April was concluded deplorable enough to remain on the organization’s “blacklist,” a compilation of countries which require “special attention” in regards to human rights abuses.
The IACHR, a branch of the Organization of American States (OAS) that promotes the observance of human rights in the region, was invited by President Juan Manual Santos for review in November.
The visiting delegation that includes both the president and vice president of the IACHR, will meet with Santos and other government officials in all three government branches and members of Colombian civil society to analyze the country’s progress in human rights, reported Caracol Radio.
Although the IACHR has commended Colombia for progress in certain areas, including inviting the delegation to Colombia and allowing civil society’s participation in and providing evidence for “human rights hearings and other mechanisms of the commission,” according to newspaper El Espectador, Colombia still has not convinced the commission that it should be taken off the blacklist for the past 12 years.
The IACHR’s previous verdict was based on continuing violence by illegal armed groups and the country’s inability to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice, namely Colombia’s “false positives” scandal committed by army troops and the government’s handling of displaced persons in the country.
The IACHR has also reviewed several human rights cases in Colombia, and in various instances ruled against Colombian authorities, including the recently rejected government appeal of the Mapiripan massacre case.