By John I. Laun Madison, June 10, 2008
The necessary predicate of justice is accountability.In Colombia today an important question is whether Army officers who ordered torture and murder of civilian workers in the Palace of Justice 24 years ago will finally be held accountable for their unlawful and abusive conduct. The Colombia Support Network ( CSN) was privileged to assist an attorney for the families of the victims of the Palace of Justice in obtaining a visa and transportation to the United States to attend a deposition of one or more of the soldiers who apparently participated in the Palace of Justice torture and killings. The upshot, we hope, will be to hold those who planned and carried out this henious attack on innocent bystanders accountable for their acions.
The first step in such accountability is admission of the role they played. Then identification of those who gave the orders. And finally evidence of how these events were covered up for more than two decades and establishing who was responsible for the cover-up.
Tremendous credit goes to relatives of those murdered in the Palace of Justice events – Rene Guarin, Alejandra Rodriguez, Cecilia Cabrera and a few others – who courageously kept seeking an explanation for the disappearance and murder of their loved ones. Rene’s example in doggedly pursuing the truth at peril to his own life is an inspiration for us all. We hope the truth will now emerge, with punishment for those responsible for the criminal acts perpetrated against the Palace of Justice workers and reparations by the state for the families.
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621