Guaranteeing respect for human rights in Colombia is the “common purpose” of NGOs and the government, the country’s defense minister said Monday in response to the annual report of NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“The Colombian government considers the NGOs allies of the government and of Colombian society in the common purpose to make an end to all forms of violation of and abuse of human rights on Colombian soil,” Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said in a press release.
The minister stressed that HRW primarily blamed illegal armed groups like the FARC for the violation of human rights.
“We agree with Human Rights Watch on a key diagnostic which is that the main violators of of human rights in Colombia are the narco-terrorist organizations and criminal groups,” Rivera said.
HRW director Jose Manuel Vivanco on Monday sent an open letter to Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzon to invite him for a meeting while visiting the United States next week. The vice president on Tuesday morning had not responded to the invitation.