Canada-Colombia: Trade Supersedes Human Rights

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada denounces Harper’s Conservatives decision to amend the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) to allow Canadian arm merchants to sell fully automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines to Colombia. These guns are banned in Canada.

“With Colombia's long record of violence, is there not a strong likelihood of these guns getting into the wrong hands?" asked Eric Walton, Green Party Critic for Foreign Affairs

Despite impressive economic growth, Colombia continues to suffer from serious human rights violations. The fighting has killed 250,000 individuals and displaced millions since 1964.

The easing of AFCCL regulations follows the failure of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which is designed to regulate international transfers of conventional weapons which concluded in August last year without agreement. The draft called for tough national export standards based on international human rights and humanitarian law, standards that will require improvements even to Canada's comparatively strong military export regulations. Not surprisingly, the Harper government has shown a decided lack of leadership on the ATT.

The Green Party of Canada urges the Canadian government to accept the joint recommendation of Amnesty International and Ploughshares Canada for the withdrawal of the proposed amendment to add Colombia to the AFCCL.

“Arms sales are great for business, bad for people,” remarked Joe Foster, Green Party Human Rights Critic. “It seems clear the new mantra on all fronts of the Conservative agenda is that trade outweighs any concerns regarding the safety and rights of individuals.”


Spanish version - versión en español

Media Contact:
Stéphane Vigneault
Communications Coordinator, Green Party of Canada 
cell: 613.614.4916