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The Colombian Human Rights Watch NGOS in the Face of Violence

Sophie DAVIAUD[*]


Although Colombia is not experiencing a military-rule or an open civil war, it has one of the highest rate of human rights violations in the world. The intensification of the conflict and the generalization of violence have been coupled with the spread of human rights rhetoric. But, the concrete results of the discourse on human rights have been quite limited. They have been converted into strategic tools by the protagonists of the conflict. The analysis of the use of human rights by NGOs during the last twenty years shows that they had and continue to have difficulties in creating a space for reflection and action concerning human rights which escapes the dynamic of the conflict itself. In order to achieve this goal, these organizations should begin with a much clearer definition of human rights and restore their ethical dimension in their actions. In that way, they could contribute to the reconstruction of politics in Colombia.

Key words: Colombia, human rights, violence, conceptions of human rights, armed protagonists, instrumentalization, opposition to armed protagonists, neutrality, reconstruction of politics.

[*] IFEA, Colombia: Centro de Información André Maurois, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia. e-mail: daviauds@hotmail.com

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