Some 700 civilians and state officials who claim to have taken part in war crimes have requested to submit to Colombia’s war crimes tribunal. Four years ago, the prosecution had 39,400 criminal investigations.
Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre said in 2015 that he had identified 22,130 non-combatant state officials who allegedly sponsored the AUC or indirectly took part in war crimes.
His Vice-Prosecutor General said to have between 14,000 and 15,000 cases related to civilians allegedly involved in the sponsoring of paramilitary organization AUC.
This number of cases had grown to 16,772 in 2016, Montealegre’s successor, former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez, said last year.
The disappearing politicians
When Martinez presented his results, he said that 1,835 non-combatant state officials, including “mayors, governors, judges, magistrates, prosecutors, congressmen, deputies and council members” were suspected of terrorism support charges after a purge of the cases he received.
Fifty-seven of these suspects have requested their cases be transferred to the JEP, according to newspaper El Tiempo.
Colombia to seek charges against 2300 civilians and 3300 state officials over ties to paramilitary death squads
The disappearing businessmen
According to Martinez, among the 2,311 civilian suspects that were left after his purge of the almost 17,000 cases he received are businessmen and individuals linked to “different economic activities, particularly from the cattle, agriculture and hydrocarbon sectors.”
Forty-one of these suspects have asked the prosecution to be transferred to the JEP, according to El Tiempo.
On Thursday, a day before the deadline for civilians and non-combatant state officials to report themselves, the JEP said to have received 609 requests to be submitted, not including the 41 civilians and 57 state officials from the prosecution.
This would mean that no more than only 1.8% of alleged paramilitary sponsors identified in 2015 will be tried before the JEP and another 10.4% will be tried by the prosecution unless the corruption-ridden office decided to again archive the cases.