Magazine article The Spectator

On Colombian 'Democracy'

Magazine article The Spectator

On Colombian 'Democracy'

Article excerpt

Sir: Tristan Garel-Jones's article misrepresents Justice for Colombia's work by implying a common agenda with the Farc ('The day I was kidnapped', 12 July).

JFC works to defend human rights in Colombia. We were the only British organisation to campaign for the release of Ingrid Betancourt. Last year we brought over Ingrid's mother and relatives of other hostages, arranging events for them in Parliament, at the Law Society and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office -- Lord Garel-Jones was invited but did not attend.

He says Colombia is democratic, civilised and friendly, as we are sure it is if you are a visiting British dignitary. Unfortunately it is the opposite if you happen to be a Colombian citizen who dares to join the political opposition, a trade union, or work in human rights.

Over 2,500 trade unionists have been killed in Colombia in the last 15 years. State forces and their paramilitary allies are responsible for the vast majority of these killings as well as disappearances, threats and forced displacement. …

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