The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission" or "the IACHR") approved during its 102° Session held from February 22 to March 12 at its headquarters its Third Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia, based on its mandate under the American Convention on Human Rights (Article 41), its Statute (Article 8) and its Rules of Procedure (Article 62). The Report was elaborated on the bases of the information and documents received before, during and after the in loco visit conducted by the IACHR in the Republic of Colombia (hereinafter "Colombia" o "the State") from December 1 to 8, 1997, at the invitation of the Government.
The Report reflects the extremely complex nature of the present situation in Colombia and the existence of multiple actors contributing to the violence in that Country. The Report also highlights President Andrés Pastranas courageous steps to push forward the peace process in an effort crucial to the future of the country. The Commission notes in its Report, however, that the human rights situation in Colombia involving massive and continuos violations to the most fundamental rights is at present one of the most serious and difficult in the Americas, and it identifies an important number of problems affecting the Colombian people.
The Commission trusts that the Report will contribute to clarify the human rights situation in Colombia and it calls upon the State to take the necessary measures to comply with the recommendations contained therein. The IACHR will continue to monitor the evolution of the situation and takes this opportunity to renew its offer to cooperate with the State, within the framework of the American Convention. Finally, the Commission wishes to thank the Colombian State and all the civil society organizations for their collaboration during the visit and the elaboration of the Report.
Commissioner Álvaro Tirado Mejía, a Colombian national, did not participate in the discussion and decision of the Report referred to in this press communiqué, pursuant to Article 19(2)(a) of the Regulations of the Commission.
The complete text of the Report, as well as its executive summary, will be available in the Commissions homepage at the World Wide Web: http://www.cidh.org
Washington, D. C., March 12, 1999