U.S. Statement at the UPR of Colombia

As delivered by Huda Ibrahim
30th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group
Geneva, May 10, 2018

We commend Colombia’s efforts to implement the 2016 peace accord that ended a half century of armed conflict with the FARC and reduced violence substantially.  We are nevertheless concerned about reports of extrajudicial killings, limited accountability for human rights violations and abuses, and violence against social leaders, land restitution claimants, and other vulnerable persons.

Afro-descendant and indigenous leaders continue to be attacked and displaced, often by illegal armed groups and criminal organizations, and trade unionists face abuses that limit their exercise of freedom of association.

We recognize efforts to improve accountability by strengthening the justice system. Authorities announced advances in nearly 50 percent of investigations into killings of social leaders since 2016. Those responsible for these crimes must face justice.

We continue to look to the government to fulfill its duty to investigate and prosecute all those responsible for “false positive” killings of innocent civilians, done to run up body counts.

We recommend Colombia:

  1. Promptly hold accountable those responsible for attacks on human rights defenders and members of vulnerable groups.
  2. Intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute all those responsible for extrajudicial killings, including commanders.
  3. Work with civil society to strengthen protection for members of vulnerable communities by implementing effective collective protection schemes tailored to ethnicity, gender, and regional circumstances.