Colombia: UN rights chief calls for an end to all forms of violence in Cali |
In a statement released on Sunday, she called for an end to all forms of violence, including vandalism, and said that only dialogue can resolve the demands of the various groups involved in the current national strike.
His office received reports that since May 28, fourteen people have died and 98 people have been injured, including 54 by guns in violence that erupted in the city where protests were held to commemorate a month of strike.
Ms. Bachelet’s team also received reports of armed individuals, including a judicial police officer on leave, who opened fire on demonstrators, journalists covering the protests, as well as passers-by. The judicial police officer in question was beaten to death by a mob.
There are reports that in parts of the city, individuals have shot at demonstrators in the presence of police, the High Commissioner said.
The United Nations Human Rights Office in Colombia also received information on at least 30 people arrested on May 28. Ms. Bachelet recalled that “the right to a fair trial and due process of detained persons must be guaranteed”.
Responding to concerns about the whereabouts of some detainees, Bachelet also reaffirmed the need to implement all necessary measures, in accordance with international human rights standards, to prevent disappearances.
Dialogue is the only way
For the High Commissioner, these events are particularly worrying given the “progress made in resolving, through dialogue, the social unrest that erupted a month ago following the start of a nation-wide strike against several social and economic policies of the Government. “.
“It is essential that all those allegedly involved in injury or death, including state agents, are investigated promptly, effectively, independently, impartially and transparently, and that those responsible are held accountable. responsible, ”she underlined.
Ms. Bachelet stressed that only dialogue could resolve the demands of different groups, both those participating in the protests and those opposing the protests.
“I welcome the commitment expressed by several actors, in Cali and at the national level, to find a negotiated and peaceful solution to the social unrest through talks,” she said.
UN News / Laura Quiñones
United Nations Verification Mission also concerned
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, also expressed his grave concern at the current situation in the country and declared that he was “following it closely”.
In a statement released on Saturday evening, Massieu said the serious events in Cali and other parts of the country show the need to “strengthen dialogue as a fundamental instrument for conflict resolution”.
The head of the United Nations Verification Mission called on all actors to prevent and end violence, and to do everything possible to reduce tensions and avoid escalation.
“In all cases, even the most difficult, we must promote dialogue. To consolidate a stable and lasting peace in the country is my greatest wish and, I am sure, that of all Colombians ”, he stressed.
Mr. Massieu recalled that the UN continues to be available to facilitate and support the ways of a peaceful solution and an agreement.