Luis Guillermo Pérez-Casas speaks about the situation of human rights in the Americas, in an interview done during the 1st. U.S. Social Forum in the city of Atlanta.
Mr. Pérez-Casas is a human rights activist, originally from Colombia he is the General Secretary of International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) based in Brussels, Belgium.
Painting by Colombian artist Fernando Botero inspired by the prison abuse scandal in Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Pintura del artista colombiano Fernando Botero inspirado por el escándalo de abuso de la prisión de Abu Ghraib en Irak.
Pérez Casas es un dirigente de derechos humanos, originario de Colombia, es el Secretario General de la Federación Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (FIDH) con sede en Bruselas, Bélgica.
VIDEO: DERECHOS HUMANOS EN LAS AMERICAS - HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE AMERICAS 2007
Human Rights in the Americas
Transcription and interpretation by Carlos A. Quiroz
When it comes to human rights, there are 4 countries that we are concerned about.
Colombia and its civil war, and the current government of extreme right [of President Uribe] which has little respect for human rights and for the international humanitarian law. Recently 9 congressmen were killed by rebels after the government rejected a humanitarian negotiation and responded with military retaliation. Over 3 million Colombians are displaced, the biggest case of human crisis today after Sudan-Darfur. Human rights abusers and criminals are being awarded and protected by the current government, especially close allies to Uribe who have connections to drug trafficking and paramilitary violence.
Guatemala, as Anders Kompass, the representative of the U.N. Commission for Human Rights has said: it is almost a failed state, where there is absolute impunity and even Efrain Ruiz Montt who committed genocide against Indigenous communities, is now running for Congress to gain congressional impunity. There are still death-squad paramilitary groups with connections with the government, and over 3,000 women have been killed in the last 4 years after being tortured, mutilated and raped, repeating the same criminal trend of the previous civil war.
Although Mexico is the 9th economy of the world, with over 105 million people but it has high levels of violence and lack of democratic govern ability at local levels that has converted some regions into mafia states, where human rights violations is an every-day situation, with generalized impunity and corruption.
The U.S. promotes human rights violations around the world under the excuse of anti-terrorist fight, and it often violates the U.N. declaration [on human rights] and the war against the International Penal Court of the Bush administration, affirming its vocation of committing war crimes and against the humanity. Although the international community has protested, there are hundreds of prisoners in Guantanamo who are denied a fair defense and balanced justice since they are prosecuted in military tribunals. Internally in the U.S. there have been a progressive cut of basic liberties in the Bush administration and the recent CIA crimes scandal might be the same as the ones of the current administration. We ask the American people to mobilize so these crimes won’t be left unpunished.
Cuba and Venezuela
There are not countries where human rights are not violated and in Cuba and Venezuela it happens too, but we denounce the manipulation that is done when these countries actions are shown as the worst crimes against human dignity, but the countries and media who attack those countries, remain silent when their allies are causing terrible crimes against the humanity in Africa, Asia to mention in Congo, Sudan and Chechnya.
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