Colombian special forces troops in training
Colombian special forces troops in training
El Espectador
BOGOTA — As negotiations continue to try to bring a definitive end to Colombia's decades-long civil war, another thorny issue related to the country's violent past won't go away: the fate of soldiers accused of crimes.
The government's proposal for a specific military justice code to handle such cases was recently rejected by the Colombian Supreme Court. In response, the Defense Ministry has just announced a proposal for a so-called Plan B — a request to Congress to approve a "Technical and Specialized Defense Fund" for use in domestic and international trials, to provide legal protection for those accused.
The Ministry is concerned that accused troops risked being left in a “legal limbo” should they be taken to court for alleged rights violations committed in the battle against Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas or criminal gangs.

At home and abroad
Among the cases in question are investigations at the International Court at The Hague into the Army’s 1985 assault on Colombia's Supreme Court of Justice to clear out rebels, and the 2008 bombing of a FARC camp inside Ecuador. One hundred people died in the first incident and civilians "disappeared," while the second killed 22 guerrillas and provoked Ecuador's fury.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said that “in practice the aim of the Technical Defense Fund is that with the fall of the proposed amplification of the military justice code, there should be enough money to assure an effective defense.”
The fund proposal, he said, “allows the creation of a technical defence system and defence fund to be financed from the national budget, the defense budget and donations.”
He said it could not be used in cases relating to “private incidents, acts of corruption and those unrelated to operational activities of the Public Force,” responding to a question on the delicate case known as “false positives.” This case revolves around allegations that certain officers or troops had youngsters kidnapped, killed, and later “identified” as FARC fighters killed in combat.
Interior Minister Aurelio Iragorri Valencia told critics in turn, “make no mistake, we shall not abandon our military and police forces. If we have to present a hundred projects to defend them, we will."
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Geopolitics

Why Ghosts Of Hitler Keep Appearing In Colombia

Colombia's police chiefs must be dismally ignorant if they think it was "instructive" to expose young cadets bereft of historical education to Nazi symbols.

Nazi symbols were displayed in public at the Tuluá Police Academy

Reinaldo Spitaletta

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — Adolf Hitler was seen in 1954, wandering around the chilly town of Tunja, northeast of the Colombian capital. The führer was, they said, all cloaked up like a peasant — they even took a picture of him. Later, he was spotted nearby at the baths in the spa town of Paipa, no doubt there for his fragile health.

A former president and notorious arch-conservative of 20th century Colombian politics, Laureano Gómez used to pay him homage. A fascist at heart, Gómez had to submit to the United States as the victor of World War II. He wasn't the only fascist sympathizer in Colombia then. Other conservatives, writers and intellectuals were fascinated by Nazism.

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