Bogota, May 4th, 2021. The OAS’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS) condemns and expresses its deep concern for the disproportionate use of public force in the context of the social demonstrations and protests taking place in the country since April 28th of the present year.
Investigation, prosecution, and punishment of those responsible, as well as for prompt institutional adjustments should follow to ensure the non-repetition of these serious and reprehensible acts. The Organization expresses its solidarity with the victims and their families.
OAS Mission energetically rejects actions involving attacks by members of the public forces against protester’s life and integrity. In the same way MAPP/OAS joins the voices of repudiation against threats and violence faced by the Multisectoral Verification Commission members headed by the Attorney General’s Office and OHCHR during the night of May 3rd in Cali, Colombia.
The Mission reiterates its call to the authorities to guarantee the basic right to peaceful protest, free from damages and vandalism, as enshrined in the Colombian Constitution and the international instruments. At the same time, insists that all actions by the security forces must emphasize compliance, protection and respect for human rights. At the same time, It also rejects acts of vandalism that have occurred.
MAPP/OAS reiterates dialogue as the preferred tool to face conflicts, deal with differences, address grievances, resolve conflicts and attain agreements for peace and the strengthening of democracy. Therefore, urges the parties to keep this channel open.
OAS’ Mission considers that Colombia is facing a moment of profound unrest, in which the State, political actors and civil society must resort to calm, prudence and effective initiatives that leads to peaceful dispute settlement. Only by working together, within the framework of the democratic system, the country would overcome this moment, building solutions to conflict causes and providing guarantees of non-repetition of violence.
The Mission has been monitoring the social mobilizations in Cali and the rest of the country. The Mission is at the disposal of the State and the organizations involved, in order to build bridges of understanding to put an end to the crisis that has claimed the lives of Colombian men and women.
Finally, MAPP/OAS stresses its call for non-violence, the joint building of a comprehensive peace, and the protection of Human Rights and the defense of life.