The United Nations human rights office in Colombia has called on the authorities to take urgent measures to stop a wave of apparent extrajudicial executions after 25 bodies were found in the north of the country.
The dead, many of them young, have been identified as residents of southern Bogota, according to a news release issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The Office said it had already officially informed the authorities of other disappearances and deaths of young people from other cities who, according to various accounts, have been promised work in the provinces, only to be reported as killed in fighting with the army a couple of days later. Since February at least 35 such bodies have been reported.
“The Office calls on all relevant authorities to coordinate their efforts to clarify and end the practices and patterns of apparent judicial executions, adopting urgent measures to prevent, investigate, punish and publicize the material and intellectual authors of such acts,” it added.
“Should the responsibility of members of public (security) force be established, either directly or through tolerance, acquiescence, complicity or support for this type of action, it would constitute grave violations of human rights,” it added, calling for the immediate dismantling of such networks.