Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has expressed concern over the current state of the implementation process of the Colombian peace process.
Teachta Brady said:
“There is widespread alarm in Colombia and indeed internationally over the failure to advance the Colombian peace process in many important areas.
“According to the independent human rights organisation Indepaz, since the start of the peace process, some 1000 human rights defenders and community leaders have been murdered. There have been over 250 in 2020 alone.
“Despite the presence of state forces in several regions of the country, paramilitary successor groups have emerged, and are holding indigenous communities to ransom with death threats and intimidation.
“The Colombian government has a clear responsibility to engage in the mechanism of the peace agreement to ensure that these paramilitary groups are disbanded.
“Members of the Colombian armed forces have also been accused by human rights groups of abuses, including murder. There are numerous accounts of troops opening fire at checkpoints and firing live rounds at unarmed protestors.
“The verbal commitments of the Colombian government to the peace process must be backed up action. It must live up to its commitments under the peace agreement.”