The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday confirmed that there is sufficient evidence to believe that the killing of thousands of civilians by members of the Colombian armed forces was a state policy.
According to the ICC, “there is reasonable basis to believe that” the so-called “false positives” cases that have surrounded Colombia’s military for years “were committed pursuant to a policy adopted at least at the level of certain brigades within the armed forces, constituting the existence of a State or organizational policy.”
“A State policy does not need to have been conceived at the highest level of State machinery but may have been adopted by regional or local organs of the State. Hence, a policy adopted by regional or even local organs of the State could satisfy the requirement of a State policy,” read the ICC report.
The ICC is currently investigating to determine whether “such a policy…extended to higher levels within the State,” a claim Colombia’s Ministry of Defense categorically denies.
“There is no directive, policy or instruction from this entity and any government institution, from [any] level, that may encourage or incite the commission of serious human rights violations,” assured the Ministry of Defense on Tuesday. “By contrast, the Ministry of Defense has a comprehensive policy on human rights and international humanitarian law [and has] establish[ed] a road map [regarding] the behavior of members of the security forces.”