International crimes committed in Colombia
Colombia has been suffering from a decades-long armed conflict that has particularly affected the civilian population. Human rights defenders and trade unionists have been stigmatized as “guerrilleros,” a term that labels them as supposedly legitimate military targets for military and paramilitary groups, which have often acted in collusion. Given the importance of their work for a free and democratic society and the ongoing violence against them, these crimes urgently need to be prevented. The same is true for widespread sexual violence against women, committed by all actors of the conflict. Impunity for these international crimes, in particular for the perpetrators at higher levels of command, persists. Furthermore, the role of transnational companies, such as Nestlé, in these crimes is not being investigated.
Therefore, the situation of Colombia, which moreover is exemplary for many recurring human rights problems worldwide, is a key aspect of ECCHR’s work, and we strive to hold those most responsible for these international crimes to account. Since effective investigations have so far not been initiated against high-level state officials in Colombia, we call for the International Criminal Court to step in.
With regard to Nestlé’s role in the murder of Colombian trade unionist Luciano Romero, we submitted a criminal complaint in Switzerland.
Together with two Colombian NGOs, ECCHR submitted a criminal complaint (known as a communication) on conflict-related sexual violence against women against Colombia to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.