New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) writes an open letter to Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon seeking a meeting during his visit to the U.S., weekly La Semana reported Monday.
In the letter, HRW director Jose Manuel Vivanco says he “hopes to discuss” the “pressing human rights problems facing Colombia” with the vice president during his stay in the U.S.
Vivanco acknowledges in the letter that current President Juan Manuel Santos, unlike his predecessor, has promoted important human rights initiatives, but added that when faced with such serious human rights abuses, the government needs to take more “decisive action to address them.”
In a report compiled by HRW, an organization dedicated to protecting and defending human rights around the world, the organization’s found that successors to paramilitary groups that the Colombian government claims are demobilized continue to be responsible for massacres, killings, forced displacement, rape, extortion and drug-trafficking.
In Vivanco’s letter to Garzon, HRW suggests several measures that the Colombian government might take to address these problems and relays the organization’s desire to further discuss them in person.
Garzon arrives in Washington Monday to meet with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton with the objectives of promoting a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act.