Colombia’s government was ordered to pay $187,000 in damages Monday for not providing necessary protection to civilians caught in the crossfire between alleged FARC rebels and state forces during a 1998 attack.
Colombia’s State Council, a judicial body with jursidiction over state matters, decided the government should compensate two families whose homes were damaged during a reported FARC attack in the northeastern department of Arauca. Judge Ruth Stella Correa said government forces, namely the National Police and Ministry of Defense, did not provide adequate security to the municipality of Cravo ahead of the impending guerrilla assault. Stella was recently appointed to be Colombia’s justice minister to replace recently-resigned Juan Carlos Esguerra, who left the post following his involvement in approving the now-defunct judicial reform bill.
The six-day attack saw suspected rebels launching cylinder bombs which destroyed a local police station and resulted in the death of two officers.