Friday, March 12, 2010

Just a wee human rights problem

The State Department Human Rights Reports make for interesting reading.  The report on Colombia pulls no punches, though it has a funny beginning.  There were "instances in which elements of the security forces acted in violation of state policy."  You know, not much, just some instances.  And then they provide the list, which sounds basically like North Korea:

The following societal problems and governmental human rights abuses were reported during the year: unlawful and extrajudicial killings; insubordinate military collaboration with new illegal armed groups and paramilitary members who refused to demobilize; forced disappearances; overcrowded and insecure prisons; torture and mistreatment of detainees; arbitrary arrest; a high number of pretrial detainees, some of whom were held with convicted prisoners; impunity and an inefficient judiciary subject to intimidation; illegal surveillance of civilian groups, political opponents, and government agencies; harassment and intimidation of journalists; unhygienic conditions at settlements for displaced persons, with limited access to health care, education, or employment; corruption; harassment of human rights groups and activists, including unfounded prosecutions; violence against women, including rape; child abuse and child prostitution; trafficking in women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation; some societal discrimination against women, indigenous persons, and minorities; and illegal child labor.

The FTA, which had little chance this year already, just got even harder.


Defensores de Democracia 8:06 AM  

Mr Weeks :

Very opportune and important information.

There should be a fight to improve the Human Rights record in Colombia. This is a struggle for Humanity, Kindness and Ethics and against Brutality, Sadism, Violence and even Racism.

I hope that a new president is a new great opportunity for improvements in the education of the Colombian Army and Police to respect Human Rights.

Government forever has to degenerate in Despotism and authoritarianism. The decision of the Constitutional Court was wise and good for Colombia, Latin America and the World.

With respect to the delusional "Free Trade Agreement", other nations without any problems of Human Rights like South Korea or Panama have been frustrated by the U. S. Congress.

So those FTAs were a Waste of Time, a Total Lack of Seriousness, a great Foolish Mistake by all the parts involved.

Government Officials earning a lot of money and traveling like migratory birds for nothing.

How many millions of Tax Payers money are squandered in Delusional FTAs ??

The uselessness of Bureaucrats and the Lack of Seriousness !

The Future of Foreign Policies :

Vicente Duque

Anonymous,  8:30 AM  

The report is a valuable compiling of human rights abuses in Colombia. Please note the context of an ongoing civil war and the improvements made in recent years. This includes the demobilization of substantial numbers of paramilitaries and the reinsertion of many FARC soldiers who wish to abandon the fight. Overall the violence in Colombia has declined and many more people are able to exercise their fundamental rights than 10 years ago.

Tambopaxi 8:37 AM  

I tend to agree with Anon 8:30; things are better than they were 10 years ago. Still, the HR has got it right, there's long, long way to go in improving the overall HR situation.

I gotta say, though, that if Santos wins, I'd be pessimistic about the possibility of improvements. Santos is unreconstructed, unapologetic right, right wing kind of guy, and I wouldn't expect him to make HR a priority. Hope I'm wrong, but don't think I am...

Defensores de Democracia 11:03 AM  

I agree 100% with the two previous posts ( Anon 8:30 and Tambopaxi ). They are completely right !

I can add that one of the candidates for President Sergio Fajardo is a Scientist that studied Mathematics in the best Universities of the USA, and was successful mayor of the City of Medellin that has progressed a lot after being the Capital of Cocaine.

Of course nobody is perfect and Mr Fajardo may be a little Narcissistic, but he is not so representative of the Right, Big Landowners or Big Money as Juan Manuel Santos or Mr Alvaro Uribe. Santos is the best clone of Uribe. And he is the grandson of a President. Santos is the Aristocracy of Money or the Plutocracy. ( Same as Uribe - The Money of Uribe's father is very dubious )

Other candidates seem somewhat weak or even foolish and folksy.

The Future of Foreign Policies :

Vicente Duque

Steven Taylor 8:46 PM  

Things have definitely gotten better in toto. However, sadly, there is still plenty of what the report describes out there.

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