Europe, 23 February 2022

Josep Borrell Fontelles
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Eamon Gilmore
European Union Special Representative for Human Rights and European Union Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia.

Javier Niño Perez
Executive Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service of the European Union.

 

Distinguished Gentlemen:

As you are aware, Colombia remains the country with the highest murder rate for human rights defenders in the world. The record of serious human rights violations has even been recognized by the Colombian Government, and there was an alarming escalation just in early 2022, with at least 19 massacres and 22 social leaders murdered. In this regard, the European civil society organizations that are signatories to this communication, deeply lament that both public declarations issued after the VII High-Level Dialogue and the XIII Human Rights Dialogue between the European Union and Colombia, have omitted any criticism regarding Colombia’s current human rights crisis.

Even though European cooperation with Colombia on climate change and the green pact are important, they will be impossible to implement if the European Union does not fully recognize the reiterated concerns transmitted to the European Union by civil society in relation to the serious and persistent human rights violations in Colombia, where there is a clear state responsibility due to the lack of protection measures for its population. Both texts also omitted the serious humanitarian and environmental crises that affect a majority of the country’s territories, with differential impacts on Indigenous and Afro-descendant people and women. In turn, they do not reference the reports or recommendations from independent experts such as the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and High Commissioner for Human Rights, or the United Nations Security Council and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

These omissions are especially acute as they occur in the period leading up to elections with their exorbitant numbers of murders, massacres, forced displacements, enforced disappearances, the recruitment of children, and sexual violence. There are also multiple complaints of abuses committed by state forces, as well as those of collusion with illegal armed groups that involve high-level positions in the state.

To support victims, the European Union must highlight the importance of the Colombian state’s full compliance with international human rights law and call on the government to truly commit to the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement. Additionally, in the present context, the European Union must issue, at the very least, a call to contain the crisis that is occurring in the territories, concerning the Colombian state’s responsibilities and the deterioration of the Rule of Law, and call for - urgent prevention and protection of fundamental rights for the Colombian people, taking into account the concerns transmitted on multiple occasions by European and Colombian civil society.

On the contrary, both declarations legitimize the governmental policies and with this, persistent and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

Based on the above, we urge that these concerns be included in future communications or declarations. We thank you for your time and attention.

Signed:

  • ABColombia
  • Act Iglesia Sueca
  • Agir ensemble pour les droits humains
  • Amnesty International
  • Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien ask!
  • Asamblea de Cooperación por la Paz
  • Asociación Burgos con Colombia
  • Asociación de Investigación y Especialización    sobre    Temas Iberoamericanos (AIETI)
  • Asociación de Solidaridad con Colombia, KATIO
  • Asociación Zehar-Errefuxiatuekin
  • Association Turpial (Genève, Suisse)
  • Associazione Cinema e Diritti – Salerno
  • Atelier ONGD
  • Broederlijk Denle
  • CCFD - Terre Solidaire
  • CEDSALA (Centro de Documentación y Solidaridad con América Latina y África)
  • Ceibavieja
  • Centro Studi Difesa Civile (Italia)
  • Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) 20. CNCD-11.11.11
  • Colectiva de Mujeres Refugiadas, Exiliadas y Migradas
  • Colombia Human Rights Committee
  • Colombian Caravana
  • Comisión Ética Internacional por la Verdad- Madrid (CEIV-Madrid)
  • Comitato pace, disarmo e smilitarizzazione del territorio - Campania
  • Comitato Piazza Carlo Giuliani ODV
  • Comité “Daniel Gillard” - Bélgica
  • Congreso de los Pueblos Europa
  • Coop Quetzal (Italia)
  • Cooperacció
  • Diakonia (Suecia)
  • Ecovipad -Lyon
  • Entrepueblos-Entrepobles-Herriarte- Entrepobos
  • EU-LAT Network
  • Familiares Europa Abya Yala de Personas Desaparecidas en Colombia
  • Fastenaktion Suiza
  • Federación Luterana Mundial
  • Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli
  • FOR Peace Presence
  • Foro Internacional de Víctimas- Suecia
  • ForumCiv
  • France Amérique latine
  • Fundación Mundubat
  • Fundación    Sueca    para    los    Derechos Humanos
  • IFOR Austria
  • Iniciativas de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo - ICID
  • Instituto de Cooperación Internacional y Desarrollo Municipal (INCIDEM)
  • International Association for Human Rights and Social Development (AIDHDES)
  • International Fellowship of Reconciliation - IFOR
  • kolko – Menschenrechte für Kolumbien e.V.
  • Kolumbienkampagne- Berlin
  • Kristna Fredsrörelsen / SweFOR
  • La Coordinadora de Organizaciones para el Desarrollo
  • LAeQUA srls (Italia)
  • Lliga dels Drets dels Pobles
  • Nexus Human Rights
  • Oficina Internacional de Derechos Humanos
  • Acción Colombia – (Oidhaco)
  • Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT)
  • Pax Christi Internacional
  • Paz con Dignidad
  • Peace Brigades International
  • PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG)
  • People in Need (Czech Republic)
  • Plataforma Extremeña de Solidaridad con Colombia
  • Programa Asturiano de DDHH
  • Protection International
  • Red europea de Comités Oscar Romero (SICSAL Europa)
  • Réseau France Colombie Solidarités
  • Rete italiana Colombia Vive
  • SOLdePAZ.Pachakuti
  • SOLIFONDS, Suiza
  • Solsoc
  • SUDS, solidaritat i cooperació
  • SWISSAID
  • Taula Catalana por la Paz y los Derechos Humanos en Colombia, formada por:
  • Ajuntament de Lleida
  • Assemblea de Cooperació per la Pau
  • Associació Catalana per la Pau
  • Centre Delàs Estudis per la Pau
  • Comissió Catalana d’ajuda al Refugiat
  • Consell Nacional de la Joventut de Catalunya
  • Cooperacció
  • Entrepobles
  • Fons Català de Cooperació al Desenvolupament
  • Foro Internacional de Víctimas
  • Fundación Indera
  • Fundació Pau i Solidaritat – CCOO Catalunya
  • International Action for Peace - IAP
  • Intersindical – CSC
  • Justícia i Pau
  • Colectiva de Mujeres Refugiadas Exiliadas y Migradas de Colombia en España
  • La Fàbric@
  • Lafede.cat
  • Lliga dels Drets dels Pobles
  • Mujer Diáspora
  • Nabowa, Xarxa per la Pau
  • Oxfam Intermón
  • Plataforma Unitària contra les Violències de Gènere
  • REDS - Solidaridad para la transformación social
  • Sindicalistes Solidaris – UGT Catalunya
  • UNIPAU – Universitat Internacional de la Pau
  • Terre des Hommes Deutschland
  • Terre des Hommes Schweiz
  • Terre des Hommes Suisse
  • Vamos por la paz - Ensemble pour la Paix
  • We effect
  • YAKU