Friday, February 6, 2015

HRW reports on military impunity in Colombia

Tri-service badge for Colombian Armed Forces
Human Rights Watch's annual report criticized the Colombian government for promoting legislation that impedes "accountability for unlawful killings of civilians by the military." HRW reported on a recent increase of "false positives" -- when soldiers and officers, under pressure from superiors to boost body counts, kill civilians and report them as enemy combat casualties. The proposed legislation transfers the prosecution of soldiers accused of committing false positives from civilian prosecutors to the military justice system, which is less likely to hold perpetrators accountable. The report also noted that Colombian government and military officials have taken steps to thwart civilian prosecutors from investigating false positives, by making public statements undermining the investigations and encouraging smear campaigns against the prosecutors.

The HRW report does not reveal anything new, but it is a reminder of the barriers to holding military officials in Colombia accountable. The complicating factor, of course, is what to do about accountability for members of rebel groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).