In an interview with Rolling Stone Colombia, US Congressman Jim McGovern said that part of the US Congress agrees with a budget cut to reduce funding for Colombian security forces, so that the United States will not be an accomplice to police brutality in the South American country. “If that is not sufficient enough, we will review our help again,” stated McGovern. “You can expect that the Biden administration will take seriously everything related to the protection of human rights.”
Recently, the government of Iván Duque rejected a series of recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in its report on Colombia. The report came after innumerable complaints of police violence were made to the Commission. In this regard, McGovern affirmed that he has been “quite disappointed” by Duque’s response.
“The IACHR suggested 41 procedures and recommendations to protect the rights of protesters and citizens in general, taking into account that they should be applied to hold the perpetrators of police brutality accountable and prevent future cases of violence,” commented the congressman.
“The United States Government has made sure to contribute millions of dollars in security assistance for the success of the government of that country [Colombia],” he added.
Consequently, according to McGovern, the members of the US Congress have the responsibility to ensure that said assistance is not at any time utilized in situations where the government of Colombia violates human rights. Also, the US Congress expects the Biden administration to take a firm stance regarding cases of violence, wherever it occurs, including in the United States.
The government of Colombia disguises its internal conflicts
As is now customary, the Colombian government has accused and pointed its finger at Venezuela for being responsible for the internal conflicts in Colombia; conflicts that have plunged Venezuela’s neighbor into the darkness of war and crime for the past 60 years. On this subject, McGovern stated categorically, “I can declare that the social conflicts in Colombia have nothing to do with Cuba or Venezuela… they have to do with the internal armed conflict of this nation alone.”
McGovern emphasized that it is imperative for the Colombian government to address the legitimate complaints of the protesters and to try to improve the situation in the country instead of pointing fingers at Cuba, Venezuela or any other country. “That [to blame others] is just a way to deflect criticism and avoid doing something that really contributes to the country,” he remarked. Instead, Colombia should take responsibility for its own problems, suggested the official.
Featured image: Clashes between police and protesters during protests in April 2021 in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: NYT/Federico Ríos
(RedRadioVE) by Daniela Jiménez
Translation: Orinoco Tribune