The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has maintained Colombia on its “black list,” due to continued concern over the country’s human rights situation, in the organization’s 2010 annual human rights report.
The report calls attention to countries in the Americas that need to improve in the human rights sphere, and was presented by current IACHR President Dinah Shelton (U.S.). Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba remained on the list as well, while Haiti was taken off due to the “special situation” confronted by the country.
In the report, the organization stated its awareness of the “complex” challenges faced by Colombia and stressed the administration’s efforts to combat these problems, but expressed concern over the high levels of violence that continue to impact the most “vulnerable” sectors of the population.
The IACHR stated that it continues to receive reports of crimes perpetrated both by “State agents” and illegal armed groups, including extrajudicial killings, and denounced the low number of convictions that have been made for these crimes.
Another area of concern was increasing levels of internal displacement and, in particular, the situation faced by Afrocolombians and indigenous Colombians.
In the IACHR’s list of recommendations for improving the human rights situation, the Commission ordered the Colombian government to strengthen institutions and mechanisms designed to protect victims, witnesses and human rights defenders.
In March this year, the IACHR condemned Colombia for failing to protect rights workers, and filed a case against the country for failing to prosecute a Colombian journalist’s attackers.