Colombia: Top Brass Linked to Extrajudicial Executions

Human Rights Watch, “Colombia: Top Brass Linked to Extrajudicial Executions,” Human Rights Watch (June 24, 2015). Link to the original article

The article is based off of a Human Rights Watch report recently released that claims to contain newly found evidence that implicates several Colonels and Generals within the ranks of the Colombian military in a series of extrajudicial killings of civilians from 2002 to 2008. Prosecutors are investigating over 3,000 of these cases in which Colombian Army soldiers killed civilians in order to boost body counts during a war against armed guerrillas. The report finds that the Colonels and Generals at this time, who either knew about the killings or should have known, were not only spared from justice, but were in several cases promoted to higher ranking positions in the military. The article also finds that several witnesses were either intimidated or killed and that there is convincing evidence to show that these were done by members of the military looking to silence these witnesses. The article suggests that the Prosecutor of the ICC monitor the legal proceedings in Colombia and if necessary, step in to investigate these cases.

The Human Rights Watch is a New York based, non-profit NGO that conducts research on issues regarding human rights around the world. Their mission is to be a voice for human rights around the world. In this report on Colombia they introduce testimonies from several witnesses which implicate Generals and Colonels in the extrajudicial killings. The article also takes care to illustrate the legal actions taking place within Colombia’s legal system to investigate these cases and dole out justice to those who are responsible. The article also illustrates that the legal system in Colombia is currently failing to hold the higher members of the military accountable for their actions with respect to these cases. The article is specifically looking for the attention of the Prosecutor’s Office of the ICC as well as the United States Government who provides military aid to Colombia.

This article is a good starting point for my research dossier in case I choose to look further into the conflict between the Colombian military and the Guerrillas and the civilians caught in between the two sides.

Photocopy of a photograph of soldiers standing behind the bodies of two alleged victims from 2004.  The photograph came from the Attorney General's office and has markings drawn by one of the witnesses.

Photocopy of a photograph of soldiers standing behind the bodies of two alleged victims from 2004. The photograph came from the Attorney General’s office and has markings drawn by one of the witnesses.

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