Colombia: The Special Peace Tribunal Has Charged 19 Soldiers with War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Committed Between 2005 and 2008.
Grace ATALUI MOKANGO
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
JusticeInfo reported that Colombia Peace Tribunal charges 19 soldiers for 300 murders. Indeed, the special peace tribunal investigating atrocities committed during Colombia's decades-long conflict on Monday charged 19 soldiers with war crimes and crimes against humanity for murdering 303 people, mostly civilians, between 2005 and 2008.
In the conflict between the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the military killed civilians and presented them as members of the guerrillas. This tactic of disguised mass murder inflated the results of the effectiveness of their fight against the rebels because, in return, as JusticeInfo points out, the said soldiers received special benefits, such as help obtaining a promotion. As a result, the court said it had gathered enough evidence to charge 19 soldiers, an intelligence officer, and two civilians with the murders and enforced disappearance of hundreds of people in the department of Casanare.
The tribunal investigated atrocities committed by the FARC and the Colombian military during the so-called war and was created following the 2016 peace agreement. Now it is asking the defendants to accept or reject the charges in the coming weeks. Depending on their plea, they will either accept the charges and pay reparations to the victims or reject them and face up to 20 years in prison for these war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Source and further reading
AFP, Colombia Peace Tribunal charges 19 soldiers for 300 murders, JusticeInfo, ( 25 July 2022), from: https://www.justiceinfo.net/en/104002-colombia-peace-tribunal-charges-19-soldiers-for-300-murders.html