We are following with concern the situation in Colombia after the murder of lawyer Javier Ordóñez at the hands of two police officers.
Duque’s government is brutally repressing civil society mobilisations demanding justice, resulting in another ten deaths. In recent months, there have been plenty of cases of police brutality instigated by the government against demonstrators and during the long months of confinement due to the pandemic. The authorities must carry out credible investigations and hold to account those responsible for human rights violations within the police forces and the army.
These incidents are part of a culture of violence that is structural in Colombia and for which the European Union, as guarantor of the peace agreement, has an enormous responsibility.
Hundreds of social leaders, union leaders and political candidates have been assassinated since the signing of the agreement in Havana. So far this year there have been more than 50 massacres in the country. In August, more than 30 people were killed across the country, most of them young people. We condemn the repression and the marginalisation of the country’s youth and social leaders, and the criminalisation of human rights defenders.
The implementation of the agreement is not being fulfilled. Duque’s government is undermining progress made by the people who have put peace and reconciliation above any other objective. Given the increase in political violence in Colombia, we ask that the EU implements an audit to the funds disbursed to support the peace agreement and to encourage progress in its implementation, in particular in relation to point 2 regarding the Special Investigation Unit, which receives the support of the EU, for the dismantling of the paramilitary successor groups.
The EU must demand that the Colombian government end violence, police brutality and impunity, respecting the peace agreement that fulfils the desires of the Colombian people for truth, justice, reparations and non-repetition of the conflict.