Information on whether artistic expression against the government is common, and whether such artistic expression is subject to government reprisals or adverse actions [COL17741.E]

Information on government actions against artistic expression opposed to it could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB.

In a letter sent to the DIRB, a researcher at the Colombian Section of the Andean Commission of Jurists states that artistic expression is not a means commonly or frequently used to criticise or oppose the government and if it does occur, it is an isolated case and not a political current or a widespread form of political protest (30 June 1994). The source did not have information on cases in which the government had taken action against persons who used artistic expression as a means to criticise or oppose the government.

Please find attached two articles, the result of a search through the DIRB's on-line service on the question of artistic freedom and possible reprisals against persons practising political artistic expression in Colombia since 1990. One of the articles refers to a 1991 open letter to the president from a group of writers and artists (Newsday 11 May 1991). The report discusses the notion that areas of Colombia are "off limits" or dangerous because they lack, in practice, the rule of law (ibid.). The other article refers to a group of leading intellectuals, many of them former supporters of rebel causes, who have now openly called on guerrilla groups to end their violent actions (Notisur 15 Dec. 1992).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Comisión Andina de Juristas, Seccional Colombiana, Bogot . 30 June 1994. Letter received by DIRB.

Newsday. 11 May 1991. City Edition. Peter Eisner. "Political Violence Resumes in Colombia's Tug of War." (NEXIS)

Notisur-South American and Caribbean Political Affairs. 15 December 1992. "Colombia: Leading Intellectuals Call on Rebels to Abandon Armed Violence." (NEXIS)


Newsday. 11 May 1991. City edition. Peter Eisner. "Political Violence Resumes in Colombia's Tug of War." (NEXIS)

Notisur-South American and Caribbean Political Affairs. 15 December 1992. "Colombia: Leading Intellectuals Call on Rebels to Abandon Armed Violence." (NEXIS)

Additional sources consulted

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Yearly. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Yearly. New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

L'Etat du monde. Yearly. Montréal: Editions du Boréal.

Humana, Charles. 1985. Guide mondial des droits de l'homme. Translated by Daniel Lemoine. Editions Buchet/Chastel.

Human Rights Watch. Yearly. Human Rights Watch World Report. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Encyclopedia of the Third World. 1992. Edited by George Thomas Kurian. New York: Facts on File

L'état du tiers monde. 1989. Montréal: La Découverte.

International Handbook on Human Rights. 1986. Edited by J. Donnelly and R.E. Howard. New York: Greenwood Press.

World Human Rights Guide. 1986. London: The Economist.

Amnesty International. Yearly. Amnesty International Report. New York: Amnesty International.

Article 19 World Report: Information, Freedom and Censorship. 1988. Edited by Kevin Boyle. Toronto: Random House of Canada.

L'information dans le monde. 1989. Paris: Seuil.

Index on Censorship [London]. Monthly. Writers and Scholars International Ltd.

News From Americas Watch [New York]. Monthly.

Andean Newsletter [Lima]. Weekly.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. Weekly.
Note on oral sources:
Oral sources are usually contacted when documentary sources have been exhausted. However, oral sources must agree to be quoted in a publicly available Response to Information Request. If they refuse, the Response will read "no information currently available." Contacting oral sources is also subject to time constraints; for example, there are periods of the year when academics are unavailable.


This list is not exhaustive. Country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.