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Colombia

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the human rights record of the Colombian Department of Administrative Security. (117532)

In our regular assessments of the overall human rights situation in Colombia we take into account the actions of the Colombian Government, including the Department of Administrative Security (DAS). As in other areas of Government, there have been allegations of irregularities on the part of the DAS, such as links with paramilitaries (according to the 2005 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Annual Report). While we are concerned by this, we are encouraged by the willingness of the relevant Colombian authorities to investigate these issues and by President Uribes’s statement that he will not tolerate abuses by state officials or members of the security forces. For example, the former head of the DAS is currently under investigation. We regularly raise human rights issues with the Colombian Government and urge them to take steps to improve the record of the security forces, including the DAS.