Colombia: 40 human rights defenders, 25 trade unionists murdered in 2010 – UK Report
Samuel Thomson, Colombia Reports, March 31, 2011
Yet while 298 members of the military have so far been convicted for these extrajudicial murders, this is said to represent “only a fraction of the outstanding cases” against the perpetrators of the “false positives” scandals. The report indicates that the resolution of these cases is hampered by the requirement of “100 additional prosecutors and 500 more investigators.”
The British government commended Santos for changing the perception of human rights defenders, noting that they had previously been portrayed by senior government officials as “guerrilla sympathisers” and faced hostile public opinion. This praise was tempered though by the fact that 40 human rights defenders and 25 trade unionists were murdered last year.
The plight of the indigenous and Afro-Colombian population also remains far from resolved according to the report, as they continue to suffer from “displacement, threats and massacres,” with impunity levels still high. The report stated that any government attempts to resolve the problems are hampered by “corruption [and] the worst winter floods in Colombia’s history,” as well as the government’s “lack of control over many remote areas.”