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Cable 1017: Colombian Government Responds to Extrajudicial Killings Committed by Security Forces

Cable 1017: Colombian Government Responds to Extrajudicial Killings Committed by Security Forces

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Published by Andres
This is a 2007 US embassy report on measures taken by the Colombian government to investigate and prosecute extrajudicial killings committed by military and law enforcement personnel.
This is a 2007 US embassy report on measures taken by the Colombian government to investigate and prosecute extrajudicial killings committed by military and law enforcement personnel.

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Published by: Andres on Jan 26, 2013
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01/26/2013

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P 151854Z OCT 07FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9517C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 007395SUBJECT: GOC TAKING CONCRETE STEPS TOWARDSINVESTIGATING EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS
Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer.Reason: 1.4(b,d)¶1. (SBU) Summary: An international human rightsgroup coalition claims there were 955 extrajudicialkillings by Colombian security forces between July2002 and June 2007. The Prosecutor General's Office(Fiscalia) is formally investigating 189allegations of extrajudicial killings involving 388victims. These investigations have so far resultedin 160 preventive detentions, 90 indictments andnine convictions. The Fiscalia plans to set up asub-section within its Human Rights Unit dedicatedto investigate such killings. Meanwhile, theInspector General's Office (Procuraduria) isinvestigating 706 alleged extrajudicial killings--some of which overlap with the Fiscalia'sinvestigations--that occurred from March 2002 toAugust 31, 2007. UNHCHR reports strong cooperationfrom the Ministry of Defense (MOD) during itsvisits to seven Army divisions to review allegedkillings and participate in the senior committeeset up by the MOD to review the issue. The MOD is
 
working to improve military cooperation withcivilian investigators. End Summary.
---------------------------------------------International Commission on ExtrajudicialExecutions---------------------------------------------
2. (U) The International Commission onExtrajudicial Executions (a coalition of varioushuman rights groups), headed by Lisa Haugaard ofthe Latin American Working Group in Washington,announced on October 10 that the group hadidentified at least 955 killings and 235 forceddisappearances committed by Colombian securityforces between July 2002 and June 2007. Themembers of the commission heard over 100 witnessesin Bogota, Medellin and Valledupar. The reportcriticizes the Fiscalia for not investigating thecases in a timely fashion, complains of themilitary's failure to cooperate with civilianinvestigators and blames President Uribe'sDemocratic Security policy for exacerbating theproblem. The group urged international donors tocondition military aid to Colombia on GOC action toend extrajudicial killings.
--------------------------------------------Fiscalia Investigates Extrajudicial Killings--------------------------------------------
¶3. (U) The Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia)has stepped up efforts to investigate and prosecute
 
cases of extrajudicial killings. An internalFiscalia report identified 189 formalinvestigations of alleged extrajudicial killingsbetween January 1, 2001, and August 31, 2007. 153of these cases began under the writteninquisitorial system, and 36 fall under the neworal accusatory system being implemented in thecountry. The Fiscalia's Human Rights Unit handles108 of these cases while the remaining are beingprocessed by regional prosecutor,s offices. Of the189 cases, 170 are still under investigation, 13are suspended, and 6 cases resulted in convictions.The Fiscalia estimates there are 388 victimsincluding 349 male and 39 female. 40 of the victimsare children.¶4. (U) The Fiscalia reports the investigationshave so far resulted in 160 preventive detentionsand 90 indictments. Eight members of the army andone police officer have been convicted. TheFiscalia has questioned over 100 governmentofficials, 541 members of the army, 69 policeofficers, 6 from CTI (Fiscalia's technicalinvestigative body) and one navy officer. Mostoffenses occurred in Antioquia (71), Meta (32) andNorte de Santander (13), with 162 incidents inrural areas and 27 in urban areas. Six colonels,seven majors, 15 captains, one lieutenant colonel,13 lieutenants, 12 sub-lieutenants, 38 sergeants,59 conscript soldiers and 331 career soldiersremain under investigation.¶5. (SBU) The Fiscalia is also developing a newsub-section within the Human Rights Unit that willbe dedicated to investigating and prosecuting

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