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DATE=4/16/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248194 TITLE=COLOMBIA RIGHTS (L-ONLY) BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A UNITED NATIONS REPORT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN COLOMBIA PRESENTS A PICTURE OF A LAWLESS SOCIETY WHERE VIOLENCE, CORRUPTION AND DRUG TRAFFICKING ARE HAVING A DISASTROUS EFFECT ON THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE. THE REPORT HAS JUST BEEN SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW BY THE U-N HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NOW MEETING IN GENEVA. LISA SCHLEIN HAS DETAILS. TEXT: U-N HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF, MARY ROBINSON, SAYS COLOMBIA'S RECORD HAS WORSENED OVER THE PAST YEAR. HER REPORT PRESENTED TO THE U-N COMMISSION SPEAKS OF SYSTEMATIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, RANGING FROM MASSACRES TO SO-CALLED "SOCIAL CLEANSING" OF STREET CHILDREN. IT SAYS MASSACRES, EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS, TORTURE, FORCED DISAPPEARANCES AND FORCED DISPLACEMENTS HAPPENED SYSTEMATICALLY THROUGHOUT 1998. MS. ROBINSON -- WHO VISITED COLOMBIA IN OCTOBER -- SAYS THERE WERE NUMEROUS CASES OF MURDER, OF POLITICAL EXECUTIONS AND OF PEOPLE BEING EXECUTED INDISCRIMINATELY BY THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHERS FOR PURPOSES OF INTIMIDATION. ///ROBINSON ACT/// RECENTLY, WE HAVE LEARNED OF ATTACKS ON PEACE COMMUNITIES INHABITED MAINLY BY INTERNALLY DISPLACED, ATTACKS ON INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES SELF-DECLARED AS NEUTRAL, THREATS AND ATTACKS AGAINST ENTIRE POPULATIONS CAUSING MASSIVE DISPLACEMENT AND THE CONTINUOUS KIDNAPING OF CIVILIANS, INCLUDING MINORS, AS WAS THE CASE WITH AN AIRPLANE DETOURED ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO, ALLEGEDLY BY THE GUERRILLAS. ///END ACT/// MS. ROBINSON SAYS THE WORST HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ARE OFTEN CARRIED OUT BY PARAMILITARY GROUPS. BUT, SHE SAYS THESE GROUPS OFTEN WORK IN COLLUSION WITH COLOMBIA'S SECURITY FORCES AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE TO STOP THEM. SHE POINTS TO, WHAT SHE CALLS, AN "INSANE SOCIAL CLEANSING CAMPAIGN" WHERE SOCIALLY STIGMATIZED PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY STREET CHILDREN, ARE EXECUTED "BASED ON PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION." SHE SAYS SHE EXPRESSED HER CONCERNS TO COLOMBIAN AUTHORITIES ABOUT THE NUMEROUS ATTACKS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS, TRADE-UNION AND COMMUNITY LEADERS. ///SECOND ROBINSON ACT/// I WAS, AND CONTINUE TO BE, DEEPLY IMPRESSED BY THE COURAGE AND COMMITMENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WHOM I MET AT A SEMINAR DURING MY VISIT. THAT COURAGE IS NECESSARY, AS I LEARNED SADLY FROM COLOMBIAN N-G-O'S (NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS) EARLIER THIS WEEK THAT SINCE THEN, SEVEN MORE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS HAVE BEEN MURDERED. ///END ACT/// U-N HUMAN RIGHTS HIGH COMMISSIONER MARY ROBINSON URGES COLOMBIA'S GOVERNMENT TO ENACT LEGISLATION TO PUNISH THOSE WHO COMMIT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. SHE SAYS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT INNOCENT CIVILIANS. SHE SAYS SHE REGRETS THAT PEACE TALKS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND REBELS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AND CALLS FOR THEIR QUICK RESUMPTION. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/PCF 16-Apr-99 9:19 AM EDT (1319 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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