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Home >> World
UPDATED: 13:39, March 09, 2007
Colombia criticizes Amnesty cartoon as "slanderous"
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An animated cartoon that satirizes Colombia's paramilitary law is "useless and slanderous," Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo said Thursday.

The cartoon, published by Amnesty International, depicts the law as a bar of soap which washes out crimes against humanity in the South American country.

"I (hereby) express my most profound and energetic protest about the contents of this video clip, which is disrespectful of the efforts, suffering and struggle of the Colombian government and people and their legitimate aspiration to achieve peace," Araujo said in an open letter to Amnesty International.

The Colombian government respects freedom of expression, and maintains an attitude of complete openness to the international community, non-governmental organizations and civil societies, he said, adding that the pain and complexity of Colombia's peace process does not deserve to be mocked.

The Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing paramilitary group, has engaged in a peace process with the government, and some 31,000 AUC fighters have been demobilized.

But Colombia's human rights groups have repeatedly criticized the government for giving too many concessions to the AUC.

The Organization of American States (OAS) has also criticized the demobilization, saying it does not represent a complete dismantling of the paramilitary group's structure.

Colombia has been locked in a four-decade civil war, the longest in Latin America, in which government forces, leftist guerrillas and far-right paramilitaries are fighting one another. The conflicts kill more than 3,000 people every year.

Source: Xinhua

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