Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the U.S. State Department’s certification that Colombia meets “statutory criteria related to human rights,” calling the decision “just.”
“This is good news and more than anything just because it recognizes the attempt we’ve been making against a problem that no one denies. Everyone knows that it existed and still exists, but to lesser extent,” the Colombian head of state said in a press statement on the presidential website.
In order to release more than $30 million in military aid for Bogota, Washington needed to certify that Colombia’s human rights record met certain standard.
In a press statement on the State Department website, the U.S. says Colombia took “positive steps to improve respect for human rights in the country,” but reminded the South American ally that “there continues to be a need for improvement.”
The State Department called on Colombia’s justice system to fight impunity.
Washington also condemned the illegal wiretapping of government opponents by intelligence agency DAS and threat against human rights defenders.
Santos vowed his government will continue to fight human rights violations.