Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | November 26, 2013

Foreign investment outlook not great given impunity for human rights violations.

I had the pleasure to be on Richard McColl’s radio show, “Colombia Calling” on the Overseas Radio Network.

You can download the podcast here.

In chatting with Richard, it came to me: The Colombian government has offered the FARC what seems to be political quotas as the two sides talk peace in Havana.

According to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, there are 218 members of the FARC convicted in absentia for crimes against humanity. Eight of them are members of the FARC Secretariat.

It is hard to know if any of the convicted in absentia are the same FARC leaders talking peace in Havana, but most likely.

So my question then is: Would you invest in Colombia knowing that its next mayors, senators and congressmen have recruited children for war, have repeatedly raped women, have wiped out towns?

President Santos is a savvy man with a good reputation on Wall Street. How will his administration reconcile giving political quotas to human rights violators?

To give such lenient — to say the least — form of transitional justice for such horrific crimes would likely send investors high-tailing out of Colombia.

It is true that only social investors really care about a country’s human rights record. But what if the new wave of mayors, senators and congressmen tell you at gun-point that they will not respect your property rights? That you cannot transport your shipments unless you pay them a “tax”? Such demands are characteristic of FARC, and who will guarantee they will, indeed, end once “peace” has been signed?


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