Amnesty International urged the United States and other nations Tuesday to halt military aid to Colombia until it stems a rise in killings of noncombatants by security forces and heeds other U.N. prescriptions for ending its long-running internal conflict.

In a 94-page report, the international human rights group questions President Alvaro Uribe's claims that Colombia "is experiencing an irreversible renaissance of relative peace" and "rapidly falling levels of violence."

Amnesty acknowledges that kidnappings and conflict-related killings of civilians have decreased since Uribe first took office in 2002, and some major cities are safer. But the report says that's only part of the picture.

"Colombia remains a country where millions of civilians, especially outside the big cities and in the countryside, continue to bear the brunt of this violent and protracted conflict," the report says, adding that "impunity remains the norm in most cases of human rights abuses."

The Colombian vice president's office, which oversees human rights matters, had no immediate comment on the Amnesty report.

But Monday evening, Uribe called on the military to "completely eradicate whatever perverse notion might remain in any member of the armed forces who is not committed to absolutely respect human rights."

He made the comments as the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights, Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, arrived for a weeklong visit.

On Friday, three colonels were fired over the mysterious disappearance of 11 noncombatants from a Bogota suburb. The bodies were later found hundreds of miles (kilometers) away in common graves in a war zone.

Renata Rendon, Amnesty's director for the Americas, said many disturbing indicators are now trending upward in Colombia.

"Conflict-related killings, extra-judicial executions, killings of civilians by paramilitaries (and) by guerrillas, enforced disappearances, abductions by guerrillas, forced displacement, killings of women, enforced disappearance of women and killings of trade unionists have all gone up from 2006 to 2007," she said in a telephone interview from Washington.

Those indicators should not be ignored, she said, as the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush continues to push U.S. lawmakers to ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia. The Democratic leadership in Congress has resisted, citing continued killings of Colombian labor organizers.

Colombia is Washington's staunchest ally in Latin America and has received more than $4 billion in mostly military aid from the United States during Uribe's tenure.

Among the report's other findings:

— Despite Uribe's claim that demobilization put an end to far-right militias blamed for thousands of killings, evidence is strong that the paramilitaries remain active and continue to commit rights violations.

— The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has over the past year been creating "strategic

Amnesty International urged the United States and other nations Tuesday to halt military aid to Colombia until it stems a rise in killings of noncombatants by security forces and heeds other U.N. prescriptions for ending its long-running internal conflict.

In a 94-page report, the international human rights group questions President Alvaro Uribe's claims that Colombia "is experiencing an irreversible renaissance of relative peace" and "rapidly falling levels of violence."

Amnesty acknowledges that kidnappings and conflict-related killings of civilians have decreased since Uribe first took office in 2002, and some major cities are safer. But the report says that's only part of the picture.

"Colombia remains a country where millions of civilians, especially outside the big cities and in the countryside, continue to bear the brunt of this violent and protracted conflict," the report says, adding that "impunity remains the norm in most cases of human rights abuses."

The Colombian vice president's office, which oversees human rights matters, had no immediate comment on the Amnesty report.

But Monday evening, Uribe called on the military to "completely eradicate whatever perverse notion might remain in any member of the armed forces who is not committed to absolutely respect human rights."

He made the comments as the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights, Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, arrived for a weeklong visit.

On Friday, three colonels were fired over the mysterious disappearance of 11 noncombatants from a Bogota suburb. The bodies were later found hundreds of miles (kilometers) away in common graves in a war zone.

Renata Rendon, Amnesty's director for the Americas, said many disturbing indicators are now trending upward in Colombia.

"Conflict-related killings, extra-judicial executions, killings of civilians by paramilitaries (and) by guerrillas, enforced disappearances, abductions by guerrillas, forced displacement, killings of women, enforced disappearance of women and killings of trade unionists have all gone up from 2006 to 2007," she said in a telephone interview from Washington.

Those indicators should not be ignored, she said, as the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush continues to push U.S. lawmakers to ratify a free trade agreement with Colombia. The Democratic leadership in Congress has resisted, citing continued killings of Colombian labor organizers.

Colombia is Washington's staunchest ally in Latin America and has received more than $4 billion in mostly military aid from the United States during Uribe's tenure.

Among the report's other findings:

— Despite Uribe's claim that demobilization put an end to far-right militias blamed for thousands of killings, evidence is strong that the paramilitaries remain active and continue to commit rights violations.

— The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has over the past year been creating "strategic alliances" with paramilitaries in several regions as both groups seek "to better manage" their chief funding source: cocaine trafficking.

Amnesty says a major impediment to ending rights abuses is Uribe's refusal to recognize that Colombia has an armed conflict, insisting instead that all combatants other than state security forces are terrorists.

"As long as the Colombian government claims there is no armed conflict and the U.S. government upholds this ridiculous argument, it really is tremendously difficult for there to be progress," Rendon said.

The Amnesty report, the product of two years of field research, paints the past 20 years of Colombia's conflict with these numbers:

— More than 70,000 people killed, the vast majority civilians.

— Between 15,000 and 30,000 victims of enforced disappearances.

— Between 3 million and 4 million people forcibly displaced.

— And in the past decade, more than 20,000 people kidnapped or taken hostage.

alliances" with paramilitaries in several regions as both groups seek "to better manage" their chief funding source: cocaine trafficking.

Amnesty says a major impediment to ending rights abuses is Uribe's refusal to recognize that Colombia has an armed conflict, insisting instead that all combatants other than state security forces are terrorists.

"As long as the Colombian government claims there is no armed conflict and the U.S. government upholds this ridiculous argument, it really is tremendously difficult for there to be progress," Rendon said.

The Amnesty report, the product of two years of field research, paints the past 20 years of Colombia's conflict with these numbers:

— More than 70,000 people killed, the vast majority civilians.

— Between 15,000 and 30,000 victims of enforced disappearances.

— Between 3 million and 4 million people forcibly displaced.

— And in the past decade, more than 20,000 people kidnapped or taken hostage.