By Jairo Tarazona
RCN Radio (Colombia), March 4, 2019
Original article: https://www.rcnradio.com/judicial/jep-vincula-generales-del-rio-y-uscategui-por-genocidio-de-la-union-patriotica
Translated by CSN Volunteer Eunice Gibson
The JEP [Special Jurisdiction for Peace] Branch for Truth, Responsibility, and Determination of the Facts and Conducts has warned that members of the Armed Forces, agents of the government, civilian third parties, and paramilitary groups are responsible for the extermination of the Patriotic Union [a leftist political party composed mainly of demobilized FARC combatants in the 1980s / 1990s].
The alternative legal system has pointed out that Colombian Army generals like Rito Alejo del Río, Jaime Uscátegui, and probably, General Miguel Maza Márquez, who were acting through different public-private criminal alliances, wereamong them.
This Monday the JEP opened Case No. 006, entitled, “Victimization of members of the Patriotic Union (UP in Spanish) by government agents,” by means of Report No. 3, presented by the Attorney General of Colombia.
In a communiqué, that agency states that it has taken this decision based on two other reports: “Pay attention, Colombia! The living memory of a national disgrace” by Corporación Reiniciar [The Rebirth Corporation, an NGO], and “Everything happened right before our eyes. The genocide of the Patriotic Union 1984-2002,” from the National Center for Historic Memory (CNMH in Spanish).
Also see: (https://www.rcnradio.com/judicial/los-nuevos-videos-asociados-al-escandalo-de-soborno-del-fiscal-de-la-jep) The most recent videos associated with the scandal of the bribe to the JEP prosecutor (https://www.rcnradio.com/judicial/los-nuevos-videos-asociados-al-escandalo-de-soborno-del-fiscal-de-la-jep)
The JEP cites an Attorney General’s report according to which 1,620 directors, militants, and sympathizers of the Patriotic Union have been victimized since 1984, while Corporación Reiniciar and the National Center for Historical Memory insist that there were more than 6,000 victims.
“The Attorney General’s report delivered to the JEP establishes a universe of 1,620 victims in the Patriotic Union. For its part, Corporación Reiniciar identified 6,613 victims between 1984 and 2002. That adds up to a total of 9,359 violations (because one victim could have suffered more than one victimization event)” notes the JEP report.
For its part, the CNMH estimates a universe of 6,201 for the same period: it documented 4,153 Patriotic Union victims murdered, disappeared, or kidnapped in events that took place between May of 1984 and December of 2002.
It also notes that among those, “3,122 were victims of selective assassinations, 544 were forcibly disappeared, 478 were murdered as part of a massacre, four were kidnapped and three more were victimized by some other kind of violence.”
The three reports that were analyzed pointed out that the principal events of victimization against members of the Patriotic Union were concentrated in Magdalena Medio, between 1984 and 2988; in Urabá, between 1986 and 1998; in Meta, between 1988 and 1992; on the Caribbean Coast, between 1996 and 2002; in the northwest and northeast of Antioquia department and in the southern part of the country.
Of interest: Questions by Iván Cancino about the capture of the JEP prosecutor (https://www.rcnradio.com/judicial/las-preguntas-que-se-hace-ivan-cancino-sobre-captura-del-fiscal-de-la-jep)
According to the Attorney General “the phenomenon occurred in at least 27 departments.” And, as is pointed out by the National Center for Historical Memory, the violence against the members of the Patriotic Union occurred in 367 municipalities, in which “63.4% of the victims were concentrated in forty municipalities. That is to say, two out of every three”.
The Branch warns that the reports point to members of the Armed Forces, government agents, civilian third parties, and paramilitary groups that were acting through different public-private criminal alliances.
The Branch has established that sixteen members of the Armed forces have submitted to the JEP, expressly because of actions related to the victimizations suffered by members of the UP.
Among them are a brigadier general, three majors, a captain, a first lieutenant, a second lieutenant, two master sergeants, three staff sergeants, a corporal, two professional soldiers and an intelligence officer.