TESTIMONIES FROM THIS EVENT HAVE BEEN ADDED BELOW. COMPLETE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT CAN BE FOUND HERE.
October 23, 2013
This Thursday, October 24, join us live or in person at the Capitol Visitors Center (HVC 210) for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee’s Hearings from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. The theme will be “Creating Peace and Finding Justice in Colombia.” (Testimonies now available here via the TLHRC website, and below.)
As peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP begin their 16th round in Havana this morning, and pressures in Colombia to “advance” in the talks, the U.S. Congress will examine some of the pending critical human rights issues. A Labor Action Plan, which aimed to provide adequate protection of workers’ rights in Colombia, faces many challenges in its implementation and has not prevented labor activists from becoming targets of intimidation and deadly attacks. Under President Santos’s signature Law on Victims’ Rights and Land Restitution, many of Colombia’s internally displaced are trying to reclaim their land and face serious threats and killings for their activities. (See the recent Human Rights Watch report on this subject.) And as peace negotiations move forward, Colombia struggles to find an effective approach to transitional justice. (See the new International Crisis Group report.)
The challenge for the peace table is to guarantee victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition of atrocities; the State’s obligation to investigate, prosecute, and punish gross violations of human rights; and negotiate an end to the conflict.
Opening Remarks by Cong. Jim McGovern, co-chair.
The following witnesses will testify:
- Celeste Drake, Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist, The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) (See DRAKE ORAL TESTIMONY).
- Liliana Ávila, Human Rights Attorney, Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (See AVILA WRITTEN TESTIMONY).
- Jomary Ortegón, Human Rights Attorney, Jose Alvear Restrepo Collective of Lawyers (See ORTEGON WRITTEN TESTIMONY).