British Broadcating Corporation

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
(Source: Radio Cadena Nacional)
Monday, 23 March 1998

Ombudsman tells UN of "truly devastating" human rights situation

At the regular session of the UN Human Rights Commission, 
Ombudsman Jose Fernando Castro Caicedo today said that the human 
rights outlook in Colombia was truly devastating. He pointed out that 
political violence was further evidence of the uncertain situation 
Colombia was facing regarding matters of human rights.

Here in Santa Fe de Bogota, there has already been official reaction to 
the statements made by Castro Caicedo in Switzerland. Acting 
Ombudsman Nelson Castro Rodriguez said the ombudsman's 
statements in Switzerland only attempted to tell the world what the 
reality was in order to obtain international support to resolve the 
various human rights problems Colombia was experiencing.

[Castro Rodriguez - recording]

We want support; we really want the international community to 
remain alert to the conflict-ridden situation we are experiencing. We 
should all search for peaceful formulas, but real peaceful formulas, 
because we have already been searching for them for many years. 
However, peace does not become a reality. We want the rebel armed 
groups to understand that this country can no longer put up with this 
situation, that the situation for people living in the areas worst hit by 
this conflict is far in excess of what is normal. We want them to look 
into this country, which really needs a very significant development 
plan for us to overcome the situation we are currently experiencing.

[End of recording]

The official also stressed that the report, which was made public, also 
included dramatic statistics on the prison situation and the situation 
children were facing as a result of the violence Colombia was 

Copyright 1998 British Broadcasting Corporation 

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