Via IKN, Colombia is the nation the US and UK ally with in Latin America, now some may put that all down to geopolitics of capital, sphere of influence or whatever but just as with Pinochet I think in some measure it is because they are doing what some of our elite wish they could do, exterminate leftist opposition, the unemployed and the poor. It’s because a large part of our establishment are also crypto fascist militarists, they love a ‘strong man’ in power to partner with, democracy is a word they use in order to get votes and the concept travels no further than that. Don’t think of this horror being an unconnected manifestation of something uniquely Colombian in a fuzzy nationalist/racist manner, it’s a matter of degrees and we can certainly see this from where we currently stand. See here for Justice for Colombia and campaigns to cease UK aiding and abetting this regime.
It is with revulsion that we learn of a Colombian court’s decision yesterday to release 17 Colombian Army personnel for the 2008 Soacha murder case.
The officers and soldiers were awaiting trial for conspiring to kidnap and kill unemployed young men in a slum on Bogotá’s outskirts, only to present their bodies hundreds of miles away as those of armed-group members killed in combat. By raising their “body count” through this unconscionable scheme, the soldiers qualified for a schedule of rewards, as established by Defense Ministry orders. This so-called “False Positives” scandal now involves hundreds of cases since 2002 under official investigation all over Colombia, with over 1,000 potential victims.
Because of its high-profile nature — it forced the resignation of Army chief Gen. Mario Montoya — the Soacha case is a key test of whether Colombia would be able to investigate and punish these crimes.
Colombia is failing that test. Yesterday, 17 alleged perpetrators were released because a judge decided that prosecutors’ time had run out. This issue had come up before, in October. At the time, a judge avoided letting the soldiers go free, giving prosecutors a 90-day extension. He agreed that most of the delay was the fault of the soldiers’ defense lawyers, who were clearly trying to “run out the clock” by throwing up a series of procedural roadblocks, including demands that the murders be tried in Colombia’s military justice system instead of the civilian courts.
It appears that the delaying tactics have worked. The message this sends about impunity for human rights abuse — even in the most egregious cases, like Soacha — could hardly be more poisonous. It is also a huge slap in the face to the Soacha victims’ grieving relatives, who had already been receiving threats..