The April 11 online story “Why was this Colombian general posted to his country’s Washington embassy?” mischaracterized the service of Army General Jaime Lasprilla Villamizar and my country’s commitment to protecting human rights.
Gen. Lasprilla has served honorably in the Colombian military for 40 years, including as commander of the Army. Without his decisive contribution and that of many other Colombian servicemen, it would not have been possible to defeat crime and terrorism, or achieve a peace agreement.
His appointment in 2015 to serve as defense attaché at our embassy in Washington, D.C., was approved through appropriate channels by both the Colombian and U.S. governments. Gen. Lasprilla was not and is not the target of any investigation. He has served openly and publicly in Washington and was never hiding.
Colombia is fully committed to respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights and international humanitarian law. We have strengthened our institutions that safeguard those rights. We have specifically made significant progress in reducing human-rights abuses committed by members of the armed forces and National Police and in holding those who committed crimes accountable to the justice system. As for so-called “false positives,” Colombian authorities have successfully put a stop to this deplorable practice.
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Colombia is a nation building a lasting and stable peace. Ensuring all Colombians are treated with respect and dignity is critical to that effort. We are unwavering in this commitment.
Juan Carlos Pinzón, Colombian ambassador to the United States, Washington, D.C.