I apologize for the scarce posting this week. We’ve been busier than usual putting together two trips: a delegation to Ecuador right after the elections, and a visit of Colombian human-rights defenders to Washington mid-month.
A lot, meanwhile, has been going on:
- On Wednesday President Uribe fired twenty-seven officers, including three generals, for their apparent involvement in the abduction and killing of more than a dozen young men in the Soacha slum on BogotÃ¡’s outskirts. Months later, the victims’ bodies showed up hundreds of miles away, presented as armed-group members killed in combat by the military. The firings are the most significant human rights-related purge in the Colombian military since 1999, when over a several-month period the government of AndrÃ©s Pastrana fired Generals Rito Alejo del RÃo, Fernando MillÃ¡n and Alberto Bravo.
- Four must-read reports about human rights in Colombia have been published in the past ten days:
- Human Rights Watch: “Breaking the Grip? Obstacles to Justice for Paramilitary Mafias in Colombia“
- Amnesty International: “Leave us in peace! Targeting civilians in Colombia’s internal armed conflict“
- CoordinaciÃ³n Colombia-Europa-Estados Unidos: “Informe final de la MisiÃ³n Internacional de ObservaciÃ³n sobre ejecuciones extrajudiciales“
- International Crisis Group: “Correcting Course: Victims and the Justice and Peace Law in Colombia“