WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
17 Oct 2007 | News

Extrajudicial Executions Rise in Colombia, Say Human Rights Groups

WOLA and other groups issue new report on extrajudicial executions in Colombia.



October 18, 2007 

            Colombian and U.S. human rights groups expressed deep concern today over figures that show a substantial increase in extrajudicial executions in Colombia. At a news conference at WOLA, and in a report issued today and linked below, they urged stricter enforcement of U.S. human rights conditions on aid to that country.

            In the five years from July 2002 to June 2007, the number of extrajudicial executions by state security forces reached 955, compared to 577 in the previous five-year period, according to figures compiled by eleven Colombian human rights organizations that are members of the coalition Coordinación Colombia-Europa-Estados Unidos.

            Extrajudicial executions are cases in which people are detained by security forces and later found dead.

            “We have noticed an important increase in the number of extrajudicial executions, nearly all of which have gone unpunished,” said Liliana Uribe, a Medellin-based human rights attorney and member of Colombia’s Corporacion Juridica Libertad.

Uribe and Agustín Jiménez, president de la Comité en Solidaridad de Presos Políticos, reported that in most cases, authorities claim that the victims were guerrillas killed in combat without any evidence to support the claim.  

To read a report issued today by WOLA and other groups on the pattern of extrajudicial executions in Colombia, click "download" below.