Military assistance to Colombia
More than 240 MPs have signed a motion (EDM 713) to freeze UK military aid to Colombia until human rights concerns have been satisfied. It is unusual for an Early Day Motion to attract so much support.
Among 243 who have signed the motion by October 2009 there is very solid support from MPs of Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party, almost all the Liberal Democrats but rather less than half of those in Labour. The number of Conservative MPs who have signed is just four. The constituency where I live has a Conservative MP and he has replied to me, refusing to sign the motion. His argument is that the military aid is useful in countering drugs.
The motion, put forward by Tony Lloyd MP, quotes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who believes that the security forces in Colombia are involved in "widespread and systematic" killings of civilians. His motion also refers to the view of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, that military assistance from the UK is inappropriate given the serious human rights situation in Colombia.
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