Relatives of 11 people who disappeared after being rescued during Colombia’s Palace of Justice siege have requested that the U.S. declassify documents regarding the events of November 6 and 7 1985.
Lawyers for the relatives of some of the 11 missing persons asked the judge who is dealing with the trial of retired General Ivan Ramirez Quintero, to ask U.S. authorities to declassify documents containing information about the siege and its aftermath, reported news station Caracol on Thursday.
Ramirez Quinetero is currently being investigated for his involvement in the cases of the 11 missing people, all of whom disappeared shortly after witnesses saw them being rescued safely from the burning Palace after the siege.
According to one of the lawyers, the recent request was made by relatives after the U.S Embassy in Bogota declassified one report on the events of November 1985.
“We intend to request that … U.S. authorities provide all the information and documentation that lies in files in their possession with regard to the forced disappearances of victims and violation of human rights during the military retaking [of the Palace of Justice],” confirmed the lawyer of one of the relatives of a missing person.
The relatives will also request the testimony of the former Colonel and commander of the military operation which retook the Palace, Alfonso Plazas Vega, in order that he explain the role of members from Colombia’s national intelligence services in dealing with the hostages who were freed during the siege.
Ongoing investigations are being conducted into the role Plazas Vega himself allegedly played in the disappearances of the 11 civilians.
On November 6 1985, a group of FARC guerrillas took some 300 people hostage in Bogota‘s Palace of Justice. The national Armed Forces conducted a ‘retaking’ operation which left more than 100 people dead, including 11 magistrates.
During the operation, 11 civilians who were witnessed being rescued from the building, then disappeared without a trace afterwards.