Colombia

United Nations Commission on Human Rights Working Group on enforced or involuntary disapperances to visit Colombia

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The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) will visit Colombia from 5 to 13 July 2005.
The Working Group will visit the capital, Bogotá, as well as the cities of Barrancabermeja and Medellín to discuss cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances.

The panel's members plan to meet in Bogotá with, among others, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and Justice, the Ministry of Defense, the High Commissioner for Peace (Alto Comisionado para la Paz), the Director General of the Police, the Director of the Presidential Program for Human Rights, the Director of the Administrative Department of Security, the Director of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, the Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo), members of the National Commission for Research on Disappeared Persons (Comisión Nacional de b=FAsqueda de personas desaparecidas), the National Procurator (Procurador General de la Nación), the National Prosecutor (Fiscalía General de la Nación), the President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court of Justice, the President of the Criminal Chamber (Sala Penal) of the Supreme Court of Justice.

The Working Group experts also plan to meet with various authorities in Barrancabermeja and Medellín and hold extensive meetings in each location with representatives of non-governmental organizations and families of disappeared persons.

The Working Group on Enforced was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist the relatives of disappeared persons in ascertaining their fate and whereabouts and to act as a channel for communication between the families and governments concerned.

The Working Group also monitors the compliance of States with their obligations under the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 1992.

The Working Group has previously conducted fact-finding missions to Guatemala, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey, Yemen, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The experts from the Working Group who will conduct the mission are the Vice Chairman-Rapporteur, Professor J. 'Bayo Adekanye, and member Dr. Santiago Corcuera.