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Human Rights and Impunity in Colombia

Father Javier Giraldo, who helped found the Colombian human rights organisation Justicia y Paz, will give a seminar on Human Rights and Impunity in Colombia, on Tuesday 16 November at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

For generations now, Colombia has been in the grip of a plague of political violence that has annually claimed many thousands of lives. The atrocities are mainly the work of right-wing groups, often suspected of working in cooperation or with the support of government. But now the United States, concentrating only on the Leftist groups and on the problem of narcotics, has decided to bolster the armed forces through its investment in Plan Columbia.

In 1988 Padre Javier Giraldo, a Jesuit priest, was instrumental in founding a human rights organisation, the Comisión Interclesial de Justicia y Paz (Interchurch Commission for Justice and Peace, or Justicia y Paz). Over the years he has helped compile Proyecto Nunca Más (the Never Again Project), a database of human rights violations in his country. He has been forced into exile due to his work.

A key theme of Padre Javier's human rights work in Colombia has been impunity - the Colombian government's failure to punish, or even properly investigate crimes committed by paramilitaries, army personnel and officials of the state. In this talk, he considers questions of justice, human rights and impunity in the context of Colombia.

Dr Charloka Beyani, senior lecturer in Law at LSE, will chair this event.

Human Rights and Impunity in Colombia is on Tuesday 16 November at 1.15-2.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required.

Ends

To request a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk| 

9 November 2004

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