Uribe Attacks Lawyers

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 8 May 2009

Two days after the release of a report by a group of British lawyers about human rights abuses in Colombia and the need for international support for Colombian human rights lawyers, President Alvaro Uribe has made a speech in which he accuses certain, unnamed, lawyers of trying to obstruct justice and of being motivated by hate. In a thinly veiled reference to the British delegation, the President alleged that Colombian human rights lawyers receive international backing to make "false accusations against members of Colombia's security forces". The British lawyers' report had specifically highlighted the important work being done by Colombian lawyers to bring soldiers involved in killing civilians to justice and their report recommended further support for those involved in such cases.

President Uribe made his comments during an address to mark the 100th anniversary of the Superior School of War of Colombia and added that "false accusations made by some international and national groups" needed to be denounced.

The President has been on the defensive since revelations last year that members of the Colombian Army had regularly been murdering civilians and pretending that they were guerrilla fighters killed in combat. In his speech Uribe talked of 85 such cases though the Colombian Attorney General is currently dealing with well over 1000 complaints and human rights groups say that the true figure is substantially higher than that.

The British lawyers, who visited Colombia with the support of the Law Society of England and Wales, also found that such killings were common and complained that lawyers that tried to investigate the cases were themselves, in many cases, later targeted for attack. The report released by the lawyers two days ago also criticized the Colombian authorities for failing to take action to tackle human rights abuses.

See also: British Lawyers Denounce Impunity in Colombia, Slam Colombian Regime for Lack of Action

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