In a letter to Colombia’s Inspector General, WOLA expressed concern over the current human rights situation in the country and the necessity to prioritize protecting of human rights defenders and social leaders, investigating anti-riot police (ESMAD) abuses, prevent recruitment of minors into illegal armed groups and sever links between members of the public forces, politicians and governmental employees and organized crime.
The letter also highlighted eight specific cases that WOLA wishes the Inspector General Office to probe and that WOLA will continue to evaluate. They include:
- Guarantee the transversal implementation of the Ethnic Chapter in the peace accord. This would first require the inclusion of the ethnic minorities representatives’ recommendations in the fast-track mechanisms.
- The risk assessment process of the National Protection Unit (UNP) regarding Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders. In particular, why the UNP repeatedly denied now deceased Afro-Colombian leader Bernardo Cuero of AFRODES appropriate protection measures.
- Act to assure that the measures recommended to Colombia by the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding Wayuu children and lactating mothers, as well as the Electoral Council’s Decisions regarding the Afro-Colombian curules, are fully applied.
- Investigate the actions of labor inspectors and the Ministry of Labor (who were added due to the US-Colombia Labor Action Plan) when it comes to sub-contracting. In particular, there is concern of inactivity and/or corruption of authorities when it comes to the port sector (Buenaventura, Turbo and Cartagena).