EL TIEMPO, May 28, 2022

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Coljurista (Colombian Jurists Commission) turned over to the JEP (Special Jurisdiction for Peace) a document about the criminal alliance of intelligence agencies and ‘paras’ (paramilitaries).

In Colombia there existed a “criminal organization made up of government intelligence agencies and the paramilitaries”. That organization participated in the “planning, execution, and cover-up of murders and disappearances of leaders that defended human rights in Colombia.”

That’s the accusation in the report titled “The Internal Enemy: Dehumanization and Impunity Against People Who Defended Human Rights”, which the Colombian Jurists Commission (CCJ or Coljuristas) turned over to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

The report documents the participation by government agents in the homicides of Julio César Peñalosa, Luis Felipe Vélez, Mario Calderón, Elsa Alvarado, Carlos Alvarado, Jesús María Valle, Jaime Garzón, and in the forced disappearances of Alirio de Jesús Pedraza, Ángel Quintero, and Claudia Monsalve.

According to CCJ, the government agencies stigmatized human rights defenders, calling them insurgents, and for that reason, such people were subjected to persecution and harassment and, subsequently, they became victims of crimes carried out by the paramilitaries, ordered by government agents.

In addition, stated the organization, there were mechanisms of impunity in these crimes that were used to derail the investigations.

The investigation that was furnished to the JEP began in December 2020, as an accompaniment to the demands of the families, at their initiatives of memory, and “of their tireless struggle to honor the legacy and the dignity of those who are no longer with us, but whose ideas flourish every day to build a just and peaceful country.”

“The findings in the document will help the JEP to have elements of proof or to use for comparison to determine those responsible for these crimes,” stated the Commission.

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