The Movement of Victims calls for keeping the UN Human Rights Office without conditions

The Movement for Victims of Crimes of the State calls for the United
Nation’s Office of High Commission on Human Rights in Colombia to remain in
Colombia without conditions put forth by the Colombian government.

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Due to the serious and persistent humanitarian crisis, the United Nations
High Commission for Human Rights has been present in our country since 1996.
The Office’s mandate has been to follow the human rights situation in
Colombia, offer cooperation, give technical assistance to Colombian
authorities and also to present analyses of the situation to the United
Nation’s Commission on Human rights. All of this is done in order to
achieve the complete implementation of recommendations made by experienced
international organizations. The length of the Office’s existence is
guaranteed until October 2006 with the possibility of renewing its mandate.

The reports made by the Office of High Commission have made it possible for
the international community as well as the Colombian society to have
knowledge and information year after year about the evolution of the human
and humanitarian rights situation. This allows them to suggest mechanisms
and alternatives to the Colombian government in order to improve the high
level of violations of fundamental rights. The Office has reiterated that
said recommendations must be implemented in order to surmount the serious
humanitarian crisis in which Colombia finds itself.

The Office has expressed concern about the following: the relationship of
civilians to the conflict, the increasing militarization of civilian life,
the process of reinsertion and other political situations which compromise
the rights of the people. These concerns make the Office’s presence a point
of support for those who work in human rights as well as for the victims.
This makes the presence of th Office in Colombia indispensable, especially
at this time as paramilitarism is being legalized and the authority of the
State is being consolidated, leaving new victims every day.

The III National Meeting of Victims of Crimes of the State calls for Dr.
Juan Pablo Corlazolli, the new representative of the United Nation’s Office
of High Commission in Colombia, to continue the work that the Office has
being doing up until now—defending the rights of victims with regards to
truth, justice and reparation. Only such defense of rights will contribute
to the making of a lasting peace in Colombia, overcoming the problem of
impunity. This is a commitment which was expressed by Dr. Michael Frühling
at the II Meeting of Victims of Crimes of the State.

The national government has expressed its hope that the new Commission will
avoid „critical attitudes that have characterized its work in the past“.
Such declarations worry us as they hide the intention to place conditions on
impartiality as well as on the mandate of the Office. Due to this concern,
we call on the national and international community which surrounds the
Office to demand that the Colombian government maintain the permanent
existence of the Office and that it respects the mandate and goals of the

III National Meeting of Victims of the State
July 7 – 9, 2006

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621

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