A statement from the Colombian Catholic church’s Episcopal Conference voices “pain and concern” about increasing levels of violence and human rights abuse in several regions of the country, and calls on all armed groups to engage in a ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- More than 100 ethnic and rural organizations call on all armed groups to observe a two-week cessation of hostilities in order to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- The Colombia office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) releases its annual report on the human rights situation in Colombia. It includes criticisms of the government’s implementation of the peace accord’s rural governance provisions and protections of social leaders, while documenting abuses committed by the security forces.
- President Iván Duque criticizes “imprecisions,” adding that the report’s recommendation that the National Police pass from the Defense Ministry to the Interior Ministry is an “infringement of sovereignty.” High Counselor for Stabilization Emilio Archila calls the report a “blunder” (chambonada).
- At a February 27 UN Human Rights Council meeting to review the report, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expresses grave concern about Colombia’s human rights situation. Colombian government representatives regret that the UN High Commissioner’s Office “missed the opportunity to produce a complete, balanced, comprehensive, and updated report that reflects precisely Colombia’s complex reality, and takes into account the precise context in which that reality happens.”
- The “Defendamos la Paz” coalition releases a statement backing the UN agency.