McGovern Statement on Colombian Presidential Election

WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading advocate for human rights, issued the following statement following the election of Iván Duque as President of Colombia:

I wish the new president of Colombia every success in bringing peace and prosperity to all Colombians, and in implementing fully the peace accords that ended over a half-century of internal conflict.

Recently, 73 Members of Congress expressed urgent and grave concern to Secretary of State Pompeo about the escalating rate of murders of Colombia’s human rights defenders and local social leaders. As the new president, it now falls to Mr. Duque to put an end to these violent attacks against so many of Colombia’s community leaders and to end the de facto control of so much of Colombia’s territory by violent paramilitary and criminal groups that threaten and murder these local leaders. He must also bring to justice those regional and national vested interests who have long-benefited from such violence.

I look forward to working with the new president to achieve these important goals.