The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will review three Colombian cases; the Santo Domingo Massacre, the counter-insurgency “Operation Genesis,” and an army assault on journalist “Richard” Velez Restrepo.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed a petition for the court to investigate the crimes against humanity committed during “Operation Genesis,” in which the Colombian military bombed communities in the Choco department and paramilitary death squads took part in “death threats, looting, robbery, and destruction of property, among other things.” The operation led to the forced displacement of hundreds of inhabitants, including many women and children, who were only able to return four years later.
The IACHR also petitioned the court to hear the case of the Santo Domingo Massacre carried out by the Colombian Air Force on December 13, 1998. The attack killed 17 people, including four boys and two girls, and injured another 27, nine of whom were children. The petition argued that the “[the Colombian] state was responsible for violating the rights to life, humane treatment, personal liberty, and judicial protection.”
The third case refers to the Colombian National Army attack on “Richard” Velez Restrepo, a journalist who filmed soldiers beating protesters. Velez Restrepo received death threats when he tried to bring the case to trial, and following a kidnapping attempt, was forced to flee the country.
The court will determine whether or not the Colombian state acted appropriately in its subsequent investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for these malicious attacks.
The president of the court Judge Diego Garcia confirmed on Tuesday the Santo Domingo Massacre and “Operation Genesis” cases would be reviewed by the end of the year, Caracol Radio reported.