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Published on October 28th, 2009 | by Impunity Watch Archive

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Colombia’s Security Policy Compromises Human Rights

By Sovereign Hager

Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTA,Colombia-Colombia’s National Planning Council blames the government’s “Democratic Security” policy and fight against drugs for the systematic increase in human rights violations. The National Planning Council is a constitutionally mandated body tasked with formulating, monitoring, and evaluating government policy.

President of the council, Adolfo Atehortua, called Colombia’s anti-drug policy a failure. He pointed out that drug production has not decreased and spraying to kill illicit crops has increased poverty in rural areas. “The general and indiscriminate aerial spraying of crops damages farmers who have no other options, the helpless producers . . . but does not eliminate the persistency of the drug plantations,” Atehortua said.

Atehortua further stressed that Colombia has become a consumer of drugs in addition to its exporting role. He recommended that soft drugs be legalized as part of an international campaign. Atehortua argued that legalizing the production of soft drugs, such as marijuana, would provide an opportunity for many farmers to “come out of hiding to develop real centers of agricultural production.”

Atehortua denounced the government’s security policy and the collaboration with the U.S. State Department.  The main point of criticism was the large number of “false positive cases”, where members of the armed forces have executed civilians and then presented them as guerrillas killed in combat in order to boost success figures. These acts have been denounced by the United Nations.

Atehortua called the “humanitarian crisis” the “dark side” of the Democratic Security Policy. Colombia is slated to sign a controversial security pact with the United States to enhance its war on “narcoterrorism” this week.

For more information, please see:

Colombia Reports-Council:Government Security Policy Caused Increase in Human Rights Violations-27 October 2009

El Pais-Colombia Avanza en Seguridad, pero no en derechos humanos-27 October 2009

El Espectador-Consejo Nacional de Planeación insiste en legalización de la droga-27 October 2009

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