Amnesty International Urges US to Suspend Arms Sales to Colombia

Amnesty International (AI) has been urging the US government through US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to immediately suspend supplying US weapons and equipment to Colombia after visual confirmation of Colombian security forces utilizing US-made equipment to commit violations of human rights.

The organization is demanding the termination of the supply of arms, equipment, and assistance to Colombia until the Colombian security forces “fully comply with the law and international standards on the use of force.”

AI has verified that the Colombian security forces are using Venom high-capacity grenade launchers and Penn Arms hand-held grenade launchers both manufactured by the US company Combined Systems against civilian targets to repress demonstrations.

“The role of the United States in fueling the incessant cycles of violence committed against the people of Colombia is outrageous,” said Philippe Nassif, director of advocacy for Amnesty International’s US office.

At least 40 Colombians have died already during Colombian police and demonstrators’ encounters.

A national strike started in Colombia on April 28 over pandemic-related tax reforms and the scarceness of Covid-19 vaccines but has intensified further due to police violence.

The government responded to the protests by deploying the military and the police anti-riot squad.

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