Colombia: Paramilitary Forces

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of commitments in the Colombian peace deal for the Colombian Government to work towards the dismantling of paramilitary successor groups.

Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of ongoing actions of the paramilitary successor group Los Rastrojos in Colombia.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We remain concerned about the continued presence and activities of illegal armed groups in Colombia, and the impact?that?their involvement in,?and competition for,?control of illicit economies has on local people. We are aware of reports of the activities of?one such group,?Los?Rastrojos,?which has led?to the deaths?and widespread displacement of civilians near the Colombia-Venezuela border. Our Embassy continues to monitor the situation.

We remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace. We regularly raise our concern about the activities of illegal armed groups with the Colombian Government,?and in multilateral fora. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the UN spoke on this issue at the UN Security Council on 14 July, and we consistently press the Colombian Government to focus on extending the rule of law to all parts of the country.?More widely, long-term security depends on socioeconomic development across Colombia as a whole. Embassy programmes?are working?to help communities develop alternative?livelihoods,?and?tackle the root causes of insecurity?in order?to?build?towards a sustainable and inclusive peace.

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