President Santos visit: Theresa May should urge justice for victims of Colombia's conflict
Ahead of Theresa May’s meeting with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos today, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Advocacy Allan Hogarth said:
"While President Santos is enjoying the hospitality of the British government, hundreds of thousands of Colombians are mourning loved ones killed or disappeared in the country’s long running armed conflict, yet for too long most of those responsible -state security forces, paramilitaries and the guerrilla - have simply got away with it.
"Meanwhile, many community leaders and people trying to protect their land from those looking to exploit it for oil, minerals and large-scale farming, continue to be threatened or killed, as do members of indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant farmer communities, many of whom live in resource-rich areas. The government has not done enough to protect them.
“During their meeting, Theresa May should encourage President Santos to address these issues seriously as efforts continue to finalise the peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group. The key to the success of any deal will be to ensure that the millions of victims have access to justice and that perpetrators are held properly to account. This way, all Colombians will be able to come to terms with their country’s past, and feel they have a stake in its future."