Left Menu
Development News Edition

Colombia's Duque says working to stop slayings of community leaders

Reuters | Bogota | Updated: 13-07-2019 02:32 IST | Created: 13-07-2019 02:31 IST
Colombia's Duque says working to stop slayings of community leaders
Image Credit: Flickr

Colombia is working to halt scores of slayings of community leaders by criminal groups and remnant bands of rebels following the country's historic 2016 peace deal, President Ivan Duque said on Friday, during a visit from the UN Security Council. The peace agreement with Marxist FARC rebels ended a half-century conflict that killed some 260,000 people. But criminal groups and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have filled the void left by the FARC in remote areas to control narcotics and illegal mining operations.

"They want to intimidate and kill social leaders who are calling on their communities to abandon illegal activities," Duque told journalists as he spoke beside the presiding head of the Security Council, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra. The Security Council will be in Colombia through Sunday to assess progress under the peace deal, which is being tested by the disappearance of a FARC lawmaker wanted on drug-trafficking charges and by ongoing violence in parts of the country.

Duque's government has said that, according to cases verified by the United Nations, 281 community leaders were killed from May 2016 to May 2019. Duque said that during his meeting with the Security Council delegation, he detailed progress his government has made on reducing the pace of killings of community leaders.

His government has said the number of killings of community leaders dropped about 30% over a recent 9-month period. But Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called that misleading because scores of killings in that period were still being verified. "The government of Colombia should be redoubling its efforts to address this crisis, not finding ways to downplay it," Jose Miguel Vivano, HRW's executive director for the Americas said in a statement last month.

The peace agreement sought to demobilize some 13,000 FARC rebels, allowing them to re-integrate into society and politics. Gustavo-Meza with the Security Council praised Colombia's peace deal as "example" for the world.

The delegation, which arrived late on Thursday, will visit re-integration programs for former FARC rebels and meet with representatives of the FARC political party and a special court and commission for investigating war crimes. Duque said he asked the Security Council to continue reviewing Colombia's progress on fulfilling the peace agreement for another year. "We think its work, scrutiny and accompaniment is vital to the success of this process," he said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Videos

Latest News

Police take Hong Kong media tycoon to his yacht as part of national security law investigation

Hong Kong police on Tuesday took media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who was arrested a day earlier under the draconian national security law, to his yacht as part of ongoing investigation. An unmarked police car carrying the 72-year-old drove into Hon...

Karnataka businessman gets his late wife's life-size statue installed in their "dream house"

Unable to come to terms with his wifes death, a businessman from Koppal got her life-size silicon statue installed at his residence. Visitors to K Srinivasa Guptas residence were in for a surprise when they went for his housewarming ceremon...

Nitish condoles death of Rahat Indori

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday paid heartfelt tributes to Rahat Indori, who died at a hospital in Indore. In his condolence message, the chief minister, whose love for poetry is well known in the political circles here, descri...

London police halt probe into 1993 murder of Black teenager that exposed racism in ranks

Londons Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday they had exhausted all lines of inquiry into the 1993 murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence, a case that exposed racism in the force and led to sweeping reforms. Lawrence was 18 when he was ki...

Give Feedback