- 27 military personnel were charged for their responsibility in these events and identified the murder of persons identified as guerrillas, as well as social extermination practices.
On May 17, the Observatorio Surcolombiano de Derechos Humanos -Obsurdh- and the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyer Collective -Cajar- presented oral observations at a hearing held by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in the city of Neiva, to hear the victims of the Huila sub-case, which is part of Case 003, under which the SJP addresses the murders presented as combat casualties, or “false positives”. The purpose of this hearing was to listen to the victims so that their opinions on the information provided in the voluntary versions are taken into account in the next decisions of the sub-case.
This presentation took place after the Judiciary heard a total of sixteen (16) victims at the Public Hearing of Oral Observations to the voluntary versions, which began on May 16, who offered their testimony on the manner in which these crimes were committed, the needs for truth that remain after hearing the witnesses, the harm and suffering suffered by them and their families, as well as the expectations of restoration and reparation that they expect to be assumed in subsequent phases of the case.
We recall that on April 22, 2022, the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective together with the Surcolombian Observatory of Human Rights, Peace and Territory filed the document of observations to the 102 voluntary testimonies given by former members of the Infantry Battalion No. 26 ‘Cacique Pigoanza’ (BIPIG), the Infantry Battalion No. 27 Magdalena (BIMAG) and the IX Brigade in the Huila subcase of Case 03 before the SJP for murders and disappearances illegitimately presented as combat casualties by State agents, before the Chamber for the Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of Facts and Conduct.
Relive here the intervention of Paloma Ivana Morales, Cajar’s lawyer.
The document consists of a qualitative analysis that allowed the comparison of the information obtained in the proceedings in which the military were heard about their knowledge and participation in the crimes investigated and perpetrated in the center and south of the department of Huila in the period from 2005 to 2008. Based on this work, the existence of a general context in which the crimes were committed was argued; the serious contradictions in the presentation made by the commanders and members of the tactical units and the general staff of the aforementioned smaller operational unit about the operational environment; the regulatory context in which impunity was promoted and ensured for those responsible for these victimizing acts, among other relevant aspects to conclude the existence of two macro-criminal patterns.
The first pattern was based on the killing of people outside of combat who were accused of being common criminals, militiamen or guerrillas or of carrying out criminal activities in the jurisdictions of the tactical units prior to their illegitimate reporting as combat casualties. The second pattern consisted of the killing of persons outside combat who were previously selected by the military involved in these acts based on their condition of vulnerability, marginality, apparent rootlessness, judicial records, and who were transferred under deception or by force from distant places to the sites where they were subsequently killed.
Relive here Eyra Urquina’s sister Eyra Urquina’s terstimony.
Likewise, it was proposed that eleven BIPIG and sixteen BIMAG leaders be considered in the indictment to be issued by the Chamber in the Order of Determination of Facts and Conduct for the commission of the crimes against humanity of murder and forced disappearance and war crimes of homicide in protected persons.
We hope that the JEP will accept these observations in order to advance in the clarification of those responsible up to the highest level for this practice in the department of Huila, which spread throughout the country, allowing us to conclude that it was a State policy that must be condemned so that it will never be repeated.
Relive here the testimony of Luz Mary Martinez, sister of Jaime Martinez Rodriguez.