Joint statement UN in Colombia and Ecuador

Apr 13, 2018

Bogotá / Quito, April 12, 2018 - The United Nations in Colombia and Ecuador strongly condemn the murder of three members of the Ecuadorian El Comercio daily’s news team, taken hostage last week by the Oliver Sinisterra armed front as they were reporting on security conditions at the border between the two countries.

The UN extends its condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased reporters; journalist Javier Ortega; photographer Paúl Rivas, and team driver, Efraín Segarra. This unconscionable barbaric act represents an unacceptable continuation of coercion by armed groups outside the law, whose actions only serve to perpetuate violence and prevent citizens from living free from all forms of hostility and intimidation.

War crimes and acts against humanity, such as the one perpetrated against this group of journalists are unacceptable. They represent a serious threat to the stability along the border region between Colombia and Ecuador and hinder progress towards full and lasting peace.

We call upon relevant authorities to ensure immediate intervention, in order to expeditiously investigate the events. We encourage both Colombian and Ecuadorian institutions to continue strengthening mechanisms of cross-border collaboration, within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and current bilateral cooperation treaties.

Lastly, the United Nations in Colombia and Ecuador reaffirm their solidarity with the people of both countries and reiterate their full commitment and continued support in promoting actions and initiatives in sustainable peace and development to create a more safe and secure environment in the area.

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