Court Shelves Probe of Colombian War Crimes

Court Shelves Probe of Colombian War Crimes
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, signs a cooperation agreement between the ICC and the government of Colombia during his visit to Colombia in Bogota. Photo: Reuters

Alessandro Di Pietrantonio

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

The International Criminal Court decided to leave investigations about the crimes committed during Colombia's nearly six-decade civil war to domestic institutions, and for this reason, it had shelved the preliminary probe opened in 2004. The preliminary probe focused on crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by government forces, paramilitary forces and rebel groups, including murder, kidnapping, torture, rape and forceful displacement of civilians. Now the ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said the court had concluded that Colombia was already investigating and prosecuting the crimes itself, according to its international obligations. Colombia established the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a tribunal to try the worst atrocities committed during the conflict. The JEP hopes to deliver its first verdicts this year or in early 2022. Moreover, the Court has the authority to offer alternatives to jail time to people who confess their crimes and make reparations to their victims.

Sources and further reading: 

VOA News, Court Shelves Probe of Colombian War Crimes,  28 October 2021,

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