Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-12-02-Speech-4-042"

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"Mr President, I am grateful to the Commissioner for her report even though I believe we need to find the courage to establish some figures that tell us what is really happening in Colombia. I direct this particularly to Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, who accuses anyone who does not acknowledge that Colombia has made progress in respect for and quality of human rights in recent years of bad faith. I should like to recall something that Amnesty International wrote only a few months ago, when it pointed out that Colombia is the country where trade unionists run a greater risk than anywhere else in the world: 500 have been killed in the last four years. The High Commissioner for Refugees reminds us that there are three million displaced persons inside the country and that 300 000 people have been forced to flee abroad. In this war of everybody against everybody else – I repeat: everybody against everybody else – everybody is to blame, including the guerrilla groups, of course, but also the armed forces, who in collaboration with the paramilitary groups – I am just saying what the international human rights agencies have told us – are directly involved in the killings, the torture and the intimidation carried out against human rights workers, trade unionists and local community leaders, who are summarily labelled as guerrillas or sympathisers. The government’s strategy in this situation seems dangerously short-sighted. An agreement has been reached only with the paramilitaries: the agreement – forgive and forget. New paramilitary groups have been formed: 150 000 peasant soldiers under direct army and police control. We believe a less short-sighted approach is needed in addressing the problem of Colombia and that we should also consider what has happened in recent years to the : USD 500 000 has gone straight into the pockets of a raft of US contractors. The Mr President, has been excellent business for a large number of US companies but much less so for Colombia, which continues to be torn apart by repression and war. I shall conclude by asking the Commissioner, Parliament and our institutions to take a very careful and objective approach when giving support to the peace process in Colombia: in this process and in these negotiations the country cannot do without the involvement of all sides in the conflict – all sides, not just the paramilitaries."@en1
"perdón y olvido"1

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