Friday, March 24, 2023

Colombia: IACHR supports police changes after 2021 protests

BOGOTA ( Associated Press) — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights presented its first follow-up report on its recommendations to Colombia on Friday after finding “serious human rights violations” during 2021’s massive anti-government protests.

Of the 28 recommendations analyzed by the IACHR in its report, 11 are still pending compliance, 14 were partially met, and in three the state has adopted relevant measures, but they are not yet fulfilled. .

In its report, the IACHR highlighted that the state reported a process of police transformation and created the figure of a human rights commissioner within the institution, although “this needs to be done to ensure practical, adequate and general compliance with its regulatory framework”. Must work for public forces.

They also recognized the transition process of the anti-police anti-riot group—which indicated the use of excessive force—as a function of giving more importance to the peaceful resolution of social conflicts.

In June 2021, the IACHR went to Colombia at the request of civil society and received more than 300 testimonies from all regions about acts of violence in the protests that began on 28 April, which were fueled by government tax reform, although it was withdrawn, sparking deep claims for inequality, unemployment and the right to protest freely.

The IACHR then expressed its concern about the high number of deaths and well as reports of disappearances, sexual violence, ethnic-racial discrimination, attacks on journalists and medical missions, and arbitrary detention.

Although the days of protest lasted two months, they were mostly peaceful. However, incidents of violence occurred and the United Nations managed to verify 46 deaths, most from firearms or tear gas, and concluded that police may have been involved in 28 cases.

The commission also assured that it shares civil society’s concern about the “general state of impunity for human rights violations” in the protests, noting that most open cases continue past stages of fact-finding. .

After learning of the report on Friday, the government of Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, agreed with the IACHR to create a follow-up mechanism for the recommendations that also includes the involvement of civil society.

IACHR commissioner Joel Hernandez García assured the press that the meeting was marked by President Petro’s “call for cooperation with the IACHR and the Inter-American Human Rights System”, which he described as a “positive response” from the government. ,

The creation of this surveillance mechanism was rejected by the previous government of the conservative Ivan Duque (2018–2022) due to disagreement with several recommendations made by the IACHR, such as the separation of the police and its adversaries. Riot group from the Ministry of Defense. Duke claimed, “No one can recommend a country that is tolerant of criminal acts.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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