Three Cheers for the Inspector General

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Inspector General wants social security for all Colombian minorities

According to information received the Inspector General of Colombia, Edgardo Maya Villazón, has asked the Colombia's Constitutional Court to grant social security for all people of African and Gypsy descent and to give them the same rights as all of Colombia's indigenous groups.

The exclusion of Afro-Colombians and Gypsies from the country's minority rights laws "endangers the health and the existence of members of these minorities," Maya wrote in a petition.

He states that these particular minorities "also have the right to practice the medical procedures in line with their backgrounds and cultures".

Their inclusion in the General System of Social Security also is necessary "to maintain and protect their knowledge and traditional medical practices", he added.

The Inspector General noted that under the rights of equality, pluralism and participation under the Constitution, the legal benefits should reach all ethnic minorities.

The Constitutional Court will review the legality of the law, favoring the country's minority groups.

I do know that some of the text sounds rather weird and can only put that down to a translation problem. As I do not speak Spanish nor have the original text of the Inspector General's message we will, I am afraid to say, have to live with this.

What it would appear that Maya might have been saying is that he wants minority rights for also the Gypsies in Columbia in the same way as the indigenous people of the country. This is something that can but be applauded and maybe, just maybe, other countries in the Americas, and elsewhere, take a leaf out of Columbia's book and go the same route.

Once again: three cheers for Columbia's Inspector General.

© M Smith (Veshengro), June 2008