In a response to the highly critical Human Right Watch (HRW) report
about Colombia, President Álvaro Uribe took a verbal swing at HRW
director Jose Miguel Vivanco and the international preoccupation of the rights of
“criminals disguised as unionists.”
Uribe denies this. “Instead of covering up, we revealed the problems we encountered,” he said, referring to the sacking of 27 army officials that are suspected of murdering civilians.
“I want to remind mister Vivanco that he is not our teacher in human rights and we do not accept him as such. We have lost respect for him long time ago,” the President said.
Uribe denounced how throughout the world there is more affection for “many criminals who disguised as labor rights workers,” but nobody thinks about the policemen and soldiers who lost limbs because of terrorist actions.
“These international organizations generally tend to blame every human rights violation on the public forces, but no one has lifted even a finger defending the rights of soldiers and policemen like this government has done,” he added.
HRW had accused Colombia of willingly obstructing the prosecution of
paramilitary groups that had committed crimes against humanity. Both HRW and Amnesty International accuse the Colombian army of violating human rights on a widespread level.
The United Nations Saturday acknowledged the human rights violations committed by the army and warned Colombia it would ask the International Criminal Court to investigate the extrajudicial killings if the country wasn’t doing enough to end the human rights violations.