The Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemns Colombia for the “extermination” of leftist militants

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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled this Monday that Colombia is “responsible” for the “extermination” of thousands of leftist militants in the 1980s and 1990s, ordering the reopening of investigations into such crimes.

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“Colombia is responsible for human rights violations committed against more than 6,000 victims, members and militants of the Patriotic Union (UP) political party,” the ruling said.

The UP appeared in 1985 as part of a failed peace process between the communist FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government, but its militants were left at the mercy of armed groups determined to eliminate them.

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On March 22, 1990, the presidential candidate was shot and killed of the UP, Bernardo Jaramillo, at the international airport of Bogotá. The party’s candidate in the 1986 election, Jaime Pardo, suffered the same fate while driving down a rural road on October 11, 1987.

The Court also ruled that the judicial investigations into the crimes of thousands of UP militants “were not effective and were characterized by high rates of impunity”.

“This ruling does justice to three decades of struggle by the victims,” ​​Colombian Senator Iván Cepeda, son of Communist leader Manuel Cepeda, who was assassinated in 1994, told the paper. The viewer from Bogota.

The Court ordered Colombia to “initiate, promote, reopen and continue” within a maximum of two years “investigations” to “ascertain the truth”, “determine responsibilities” and punish the guilty.

As corrective measures, The court asked to search for the missing, publicly acknowledge the responsibility of the state and establish a national day in commemoration of the victims, among others.

Alliance between paramilitaries, politicians and police

The Court said that as a result of the UP’s “rapid rise” in Colombian politics, “acts of violence were initiated” by “an alliance” between paramilitaries, mainstream politicians, police and businessmen.

Violence against UP militants “has manifested itself through acts of a diverse nature such as enforced disappearances, massacres, extrajudicial executions and murders, threats, attacksvarious acts of stigmatization, improper prosecutions, torture, forced displacement, among others,” the San José Court explained.

According to the ruling, it was “a plan of systematic extermination against the Patriotic Union political party, its members and militants”, which constitutes “a crime against humanity”.

Erika Antequera, daughter of UP leader José Antequera, assassinated in 1989, wrote in a “reflection” in The viewer: “The first lawyer who wanted to investigate the murder was killed or his wife and children are missing. I don’t remember, but I know my mother told me many years ago. The second one said he advised her, but that he was not engaged I was afraid.My mother decided not to insist.

“It is recognized that in an alleged democracy they murdered our comrades,” tweeted UP Senator Aída Avella, 1996 survivor of a bazooka attack which drove her into exile for almost two decades.

The ruling was handed down by the court during the term of President Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first centre-left ruler, who said that the people of the UP were murdered “just because they were leftists”.

“Today an American court of justice will say that the state has contributed to the assassination of thousands of militants of a political party, just because it was of the left. A murderous state that should never return, a society of privileges that kills before allowing change,” the president tweeted shortly before the ruling was published.

Source: AFP

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Source: Clarin

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