Clinton's Human Rights Failure
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS OPPOSE RENEWED U.S. FUNDING FOR COLOMBIA MILITARY
Below is a news announcement from a group of human rights organizations.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Washington Office on Latin America Note Colombia Has Not Met Human Rights ConditionsThree leading human rights groups called on President Bill Clinton to enforce congressionally-mandated human rights conditions on Colombia, thereby blocking delivery of the final funds from last year's $1.3 billion aid package.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) released a report detailing Colombia's failure to meet a single human rights condition required by the aid package. The report strongly recommends that the Administration neither certify nor waive Colombia's compliance with the conditions for FY 2001.
The organizations noted that the human rights situation in Colombia has deteriorated since the White House waived all but one human rights condition in August 2000. They also argued that the Colombian government today is farther from meeting the conditions set by the U.S. Congress than it was last August.
The report offered several examples of violations of the conditions:
- The President of Colombia has not issued a directive requiring civilian jurisdiction over human rights cases based on the 1997 ruling of Colombia's Constitutional court.
- The military has not suspended personnel facing credible allegations of human rights violations.
- The military continues to challenge civilian jurisdiction over human rights cases involving military personnel.
- The government has not apprehended known paramilitary leaders, such as Carlos Castano, or dismantled known paramilitary bases. Paramilitary groups continue to operate unhindered - often in collusion with security force personnel - throughout the country, including in areas in which U.S. financed Colombian military units are operating.
This evidence, as well as detailed benchmarks to measure compliance, was provided in a report to the U.S. State Department in December during a consultation required by U.S. law. The report also includes a detailed response by the organizations to the mandated 60-day Human Right Report provided by the State Department in September 2000.
If you would like a hard copy or the report, please contact Beth Hollenback of Human Rights Watch at (202) 612-4321 or visit http://www.wola.org/colombia_adv_certification_jointstatement_0101.htm
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