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Thursday, April 09, 2009 | 7:48 AM

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A delegation of twenty U.S. and British Congressmen and representatives of U.S. and Canadian unions that visited Colombia says "the Government of Álvaro Uribe and the security forces are complicit" in crimes against humanity.

In a statement, the delegation says to be in a "state of shock" and "given the evidence" has "no doubt" that "the Government of Álvaro Uribe and the security forces are complicit in these crimes against humanity."

The unionists and Congressmen heard testimonies of "fathers, mothers, brothers and sons being killed, of families displaced, of innocent peasants being murdered and dressed up as guerrillas, of threatened, intimidated and murdered labor rights workers".

The delegation is "convinced that the murderous activities of the paramilitary forces are endorsed and actively supported by the government and state forces."

Upon returning to the United Kingdom and North America, the members of the delegation will "call for an immediate end of military and political support for Colombia," the statement reads.

The delegation also warns that "there will be no free trade pact with Colombia whatsoever until human rights and union rights are respected in an internationally verifiable way."

Among the parliamentarians were former U.K. Minister of Defense Peter Kilfoyle (Labour) and U.S. congressman James McGovern (D-MA), an outspoken critic of the Uribe administration.

The visit ended on the same day a group of ten U.S. Congressmen met with Colombian President Álvaro Uribe in Cartagena and applauded "the progress that he [Uribe] has made in human rights."

- Mario Murillo


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