RealNews

New Colombian Commander Seen As Disaster for Human Rights

Two major U.S. human rights organizations emphatically denounced the promotion this week of a general accused of longstanding ties to right-wing paramilitary forces as the new commander of Colombia’s new armed forces. Gen. Carlos Ospina Ovalle, whose troops were implicated in a particularly grisly massacre by paramilitary units in the province of Antioquia in 1997, was named army commander by President Alvaro Uribe as part of a major cabinet and military reshuffle touched off earlier this month after his government fared unexpectedly poorly in regional elections. “Genal Ospina’s appointment to the position of the commander of the Colombian armed forces is nothing short of outrageous,” said the executive director of Amnesty International USA. “With so many questions raised about the general’s human rights record, President Uribe appears to be signaling once again his disdain for human rights and his willingness to tolerate abusive commanders.” Full Story

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