Nº 16/02





          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reiterates its concern at the growing number of violent terrorist acts being perpetrated against the civilian population in Colombia and at the threats, abductions, and attacks aimed at candidates in the upcoming presidential election, all of which are in violation of international humanitarian law.


On this occasion, the IACHR expresses its emphatic condemnation of the car-bomb attack aimed at presidential candidate Alvaro Uribe Vélez on Sunday, April 14, 2002, in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia, which killed four people and injured several others.  The Commission also sees fit to recall the abduction of candidate Ingrid Betancourt and reiterate its repudiation of her current situation as a victim of kidnapping by armed dissident groups.


The Commission urges the parties involved in the armed conflict to respect the provisions of international humanitarian law and refrain from interfering in the electoral campaign; it similarly urges the Colombian State to take the steps necessary to ensure the personal integrity of the presidential candidates and to protect the right to direct or representative political participation of Colombia’s citizens, thereby safeguarding the electoral process and democratic values in Colombia.




Washington D.C., April 16, 2002