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Case Studies of Colombia, United Kingdom, Georgia, Guinea

(The Hague) – The prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has important leverage to encourage countries to investigate and prosecute grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Relatives hold pictures of their beloved during a March 6, 2009 march in Bogota against the “false positive” killings and enforced disappearances.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Peace Without Justice Not Sustainable

Colombia will only achieve sustainable peace by protecting victims’ right to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in advance of peace talks between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. The talks will…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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(Washington, DC) – The killing of four captive members of the Colombian security forces by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shows the guerrilla group’s blatant disregard for human life and the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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Interviews Expose Fatal Flaws in Government Approach

Colombia’s demobilization process is strengthening the power of paramilitary groups without furthering a genuine peace, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Drawing on interviews with numerous demobilized paramilitaries, the report is…
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In a letter to the foreign ministers of the member states of the Organization of American States, Human Rights Watch asks them to ensure that the OAS does not lend its support to a demobilization plan that grants impunity to Colombian paramilitaries. Dear…
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U.S. Aid Released Despite Evidence of Colombia’s Failure to Meet Conditions

The United States has squandered its leverage in Colombia by signing a flawed human rights certification, Human Rights Watch said today. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s decision to certify Colombia’s compliance with human rights conditions releases…
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(New York) - Colombian President Álvaro Uribe should reiterate his government's commitment to the International Criminal Court (ICC) when he addresses the U.N. General Assembly. President Uribe's speech, scheduled for Tuesday, will provide a key…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has presented a bill to his congress that would allow paramilitaries who have committed atrocities to skip prison for a fee. Among them are men that have ordered and carried out the killings of thousands of Colombian…
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The visit of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to Colombia on December 3 and 4 marks an important opportunity to advance human rights and the rule of law in that country. In recent weeks, the United States has taken a number of steps towards that…
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(New York) - Colombian President Alvaro Uribe should immediately reverse Colombia's decision not to accept, for a period of seven years, the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes. The Colombian government only recently…
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New Hope for Justice for Colombia’s Victims

(New York) - Human Rights Watch today applauded Colombia's ratification of the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. The ICC is an international tribunal charged with investigating and prosecuting those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity…
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In July 1997, paramilitaries working with the Colombian Army killed more than thirty residents of Mapirip醤, Meta. Army general Jaime Usc醫egui was implicated in the massacre and sentenced by a military tribunal to serve only forty months in prison. In a…
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On July 10, Human Rights Watch issued a public letter to Manuel Marulanda, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (known as the FARC), Colombia's main rebel group. Based on a HRW mission to territory in Colombia…
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A Colombian Army officer whose links with abusive paramilitary groups was a focus of our February 2000 report, "The Ties That Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links," is now being prosecuted by civilian courts, in part due to the high profile…
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Crimes Against Humanity Provoke International Action

National sovereignty is now a less important obstacle to curbing serious human rights crimes than it has been in previous years, Human Rights Watch said today in its annual global survey. "We will remember 1999 as the year in which sovereignty gave way in…