A unit of the Prosecutor General’s Office at Cali‘s High Court has made an indictment against a Colombian army Colonel for his alleged involvement in the murder of 24 people, local media reported on Thursday.
The High Court reopened the investigation of Jorge Alberto Amor Paez, former commander of the Palace Battalion — which was posted in the municipality of Buga in the southern Colombia state of Valle del Cauca — for his alleged involvement in the massacre of 24 local people by the AUC right-wing paramilitary group in 2001.
The investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office alleges that the Colonel bypassed protection procedures and surveillance of his jurisdiction, allowing the infiltration of 30 heavily armed paramilitary members into the nearby townships of La Habana and Alaska, who then conducted the massacre of 24 local people.
On October 10, 2001, the former commander allegedly knowingly failed to act upon information provided to the battalion, which allowed the entry of the armed AUC into townships and committing the murders.
It is alleged that both the Palace Battalion and the nearby La Magdalena police station, which had 20 soldiers trained in counterinsurgency, had been previously warned of the presence of armed AUC members in the area, but failed to take adequate security measures.
Members of the AUC “Calima Bloc” entered La Habana, where eight locals were chosen and later killed in the area known as Tres Esquinas, before continuing on to nearby Alaska where 16 people — including women and children — were “indiscriminately” killed.
According to a confidential government document published by Wikileaks in 2009, three former AUC leaders, including the infamous drug trafficker Herbert Veloza, have testified that Amor Paez facilitated the AUC Calima Bloc’s entry into the area.
- A juicio coronel del Ejército por masacre en Buga, Valle del Cauca (El Espectador)
- Tribunal de Cali llama a juicio a oficial del Ejército por masacre de Buga en 2001 (El Pais)
- A Juicio Coronel del Ejercito Nacional Jorge Alberto Amor Paez por su responsabilidad en la masacre de 24 personas (Colectivo de Abogados)
- May Human Rights Update (Wikileaks: Public Library of US Diplomacy)