Political Murder and Reform in Colombia

The Violence Continues

Despite a series of promising political reforms in 1990 and 1991, the government of President César Gaviria Trujillo has been unable to stem the violence that accounts for more political murders in Colombia than any country in the hemisphere, with the possible exception of Peru. Political Murder and Reform in Colombia finds that killings and outright murder with a political motivation remain the worst human rights problem faced by Colombia today. It ascribes responsibility for political violence to a broad range of actors, including government forces, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla organizations. But there is no question that state agents are directly responsible for many of the murders, or indirectly responsible by providing assistance to the actual killers. The report concludes that government actions to reduce the violence will remain only half-measures until abuses are investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished.

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