On June 5, 23 organizations, including WOLA, called on the U.S. government to immediately stop all police and military assistance and arms and crowd control equipment sales to Colombia. They also urged the Colombian government to end violence by security forces, ensure accountability for abuses, search for the missing, and establish meaningful dialogue to address the underlying economic and racial inequality, as well as denial of basic human rights, which gave rise to the protests.
The full statement is below:
STATEMENT BY U.S.-BASED ORGANIZATIONS CALLING FOR A CUT-OFF OF SECURITY
AID TO COLOMBIA AND AN END TO REPRESSION OF PROTESTS IN COLOMBIA
As U.S.-based activists, advocates, and accompaniers of the human rights of all Colombians, we have seen with growing alarm in the weeks since the protests began in Colombia repressive actions by the Colombian security forces against largely peaceful demonstrations. The daily deluge from Colombian streets and countryside of horrific images and videos of abuses, and the myriad credible reports about the Colombian government’s systematic acts of repression, have demonstrated not only a continuing but an escalating attack on the core of human dignity. These images, accounts, and reports demonstrate a refusal of Colombian state agents to acknowledge some of the most basic and fundamental rights of the Colombian citizenry.
The escalation of repression by the police forces, the increasing involvement of the armed forces, and statements of support for these forces by high-level government ministers and supporters indicate a deafness of the Colombian government to the growing international and Colombian clamor for the repression to stop, for the human rights of all to be respected, and for the pursuit of genuine dialogue. Because the Colombian government appears dead set on continuing and escalating the repression against mostly non-violent and peaceful demonstrators, we call on the
Government of the United States of America to immediately stop all police and military assistance and arms and crowd control equipment sales to Colombia.
We urge the Colombian government to end the security force violence, ensure accountability for the abuses, search for the missing, and establish a meaningful dialogue to address the underlying economic and racial inequality and denials of basic human rights that gave rise to the protests.
Amnesty International USA
Center for International Environmental
Center for Justice and International Law
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on
Colombia Human Rights Committee
Denver Justice and Peace Committee
FOR Peace Presence
International Institute on Race, Equality
and Human Rights
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
School of the Americas Watch
United Church of Christ, Justice and
Washington Office on Latin America
Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective
World BEYOND War
June 11, 2021