International Court Investigates Colombia for “False Positive” Killings

A Flurry of Activity for Peace in Colombia

By Gina Spigarelli

A Flurry of Activity for Peace in Colombia

On April 9, the National Day for Memory and Solidarity with Victims in Colombia, a massive march for peace was organized and carried out by the Marcha Patriotica social movement. According to many accounts, the march had more than a million participants, who travelled from various regions of the country to show civilian support for the peace process, regardless of

political party.
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State Retracts Peace Community Smear – But President Doesn’t Show

By FOR Colombia
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 10:41am

State Retracts Peace Community Smear - But President Doesn't Show
By Emily Schmitz

The brutal massacre that took the lives of eight civilians, including three children on February 21, 2005 in the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartadó, has become an emblematic case of government impunity and injustice. In the wake of these events, former President Álvaro Uribe publicly insinuated collaborative ties between the community’s population and guerrillas, accusations that would continue to threaten and endanger civilian lives:

In this community […] there are good people, but some of their leaders, patrons and defenders, are seriously marked by people who have resided there as having helped the FARC, and wanted to utilize this community to protect this terrorist organization.
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Unraveling Justice: Military Jurisdiction Expanded in Colombia

By Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group

On December 11, the day after International Human Rights Day, the Colombian Congress approved a justice “reform” bill that will likely result in many gross human rights violations by members of the military being tried in military courts—and remaining in impunity. The bill, along with a separate ruling by the Council of State, unravels the reforms put in place after the “false positives” scandal in which over 3,000 civilians were killed by soldiers.

In 2007, I participated with a dozen lawyers, human rights activists, a forensic scientist and a judge in an International Verification Mission on Extrajudicial Executions and Impunity in Colombia. We heard from witnesses, family members and lawyers about 130 cases of extrajudicial executions committed in seven different regions of the country. These were not about civilians killed in crossfire or with excessive use of force. The stories we heard were chillingly similar: young men who were seen being taken from their homes, farms and streets by groups of soldiers. When their families came looking for them on a military base, these mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers were shown a dead body, now dressed up as a guerrilla. There was their loved one, dead, and called a guerrilla killed in combat.
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Colombian Army Officers Implicated in Killings to Be Promoted

By Susana Pimiento

Sharp contrast with the Petraeus and Allen cases
Recent U.S. news has been flooded with stories of generals David Petraeus and John Allen, both involved in what is perceived as improper conduct. The scandals cost Gen. Petraeus his position as head of theCIA and Allen’s promotion to command U.S. troops in Europe. The speedy strict consequences in both cases contrast with the fate of four Colombian army officers who, despite their involvement in outrageous crimes, have been chosen for promotion. That is the case of Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Espinosa Beltran and Lieutenant Alejandro Jaramillo, who participated in the February 2005 San José de Apartadó Peace Community massacre. Jaramillo was even sentenced to 34 years in prison for murder by an appeals court last June.

1289Officers chosen for promotionOther officers to be promoted to general include Emiro Barrios Jiménez and Jorge Navarrete Jadeth, who paid a thousand-dollar booty for the extrajudicial killings of two civilians in Manizales (Caldas), one of the cases known as “false positives,” the killing of unarmed civilians to bolster the officers’ body counts.
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International Court Investigates Colombia for “False Positive” Killings

By Susana Pimiento

International Court Investigates Colombia for “False Positive” Killings
On November 15, the International Criminal Court gave Colombia a clear warning that the Court expects accountability at the senior level for the serious crimes that fall under its jurisdiction, or else it may pursue a formal investigation. The warning came in the first interim examination report ever issued by the Court’s Prosecutor Office.

Colombia joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November, 2002 and is one of only eight countries formally under ICC examination. The other countries are Honduras, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Georgia, Guinea, South Korea (for war crimes committed by North Korea), and Mali.
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