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Friday, December 02, 2022

Peace tribunal identifies 4,600 killings of Colombian leftists

More than 4,600 members of a left-wing party in Colombia were killed and 1,100 others went missing between 1984 and 2007, a special tribunal set up to try the worst atrocities committed during the country’s half-century conflict said a report released Friday. said in.

The victims were members of the Patriotic Union (UP) Communist Party, formed in the 1980s by then-president Belisario Betancur during an effort to make peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The report said the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) found that “of the 5,733 victims, 4,616 were murder victims”, while the rest were “forcibly displaced”.

“The violence against the members of UP was carried out on a large scale, generalized and systematic scale mainly by state agents and paramilitary forces,” the JEP said.

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Among those killed were Jaime Pardo and Bernardo Jaramillo, two presidential candidates for UP, as well as some active legislators.

The party was reformed over the past decade and is currently part of the historic pact leftist coalition, whose presidential candidate Gustavo Petro leads opinion polls ahead of next month’s vote.

JEPs have the authority to offer the option of jail time to those who confess to their crimes and seek compensation.

It found witness statements of 150 people linked to the attacks against UP, most of whom were members of security forces and intelligence agencies.

The tribunal has also started investigations against guerrillas, state agents and paramilitary forces into kidnappings, recruitment of minors, political violence and killing of civilians during armed conflict, which culminated in 2016 with the signing of a peace agreement in which FARC lays down its arms and forms a political party.

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Since 2017, JEP has accused former FARC commanders of kidnapping at least 21,000 people and recruiting 18,000 minors.

Dozens of former members of the military have also been accused of killing 6,400 civilians who were executed in exchange for profit and then passed off as combatants in a scandal known as “false positivity”.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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