Mark Durkan – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mark Durkan on 2015-10-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for peace talks in Colombia of the on-going violence perpetrated by paramilitaries in that country.

Mr Hugo Swire

We strongly believe that the best way to achieve a sustainable peace in Colombia after decades of conflict is through the current Peace Process. We welcome the announcement by both sides on 23 September, on an agreement for justice and victims’ reparations. The agreement ends any notion of impunity, including those alleged to be involved in Paramilitary groups.

Our Embassy in Bogotá receives regular reporting on the security and human rights situation in Colombia from a range of sources including non-governmental organisations operating in Colombia. This includes allegations of abuses by paramilitary groups such as attacks against leaders of land restitution claims and human rights defenders. The majority of such abuses continue to take place in areas affected by the ongoing conflict. We remain concerned about the ongoing activity of paramilitary forces operating in Colombia and we continue to raise this issue of Human rights regularly with the Colombian authorities.