Too little too late? Colombian police colonel gets house arrest 20 years after burning suspect’s penis

Twenty years after burning a kidnapping suspect’s penis, a Colombian police colonel was sentenced to six years house arrest for torture on Tuesday.

Retired Colonel Luis Enciso was convicted for the torture of a kidnapping suspect in 1994 when the police official and a colleague tried to get the suspect to confess by burning his reproductive organ with matches.

More than 20 years after the crime and seven years after the Inter-American Human Rights court condemned the Colombian state for torture, a Bogota court confirmed prosecution allegations that the police official had tortured victim Wilson Gutierrez.

According to Gutierrez, he had been asked to come to a Bogota coffee shop on August 24, 1994 by local businessman Ricardo Dalel, who the victim suspected of criminal activity. On arrival, he was arrested and taken to the local base of the UNASE, a now-defunct police unit to fight extortion and kidnapping.

While being interrogated, Dalel allegedly held down the victim while Enciso burnt the suspect’s penis with matches and shoved a broom handle up his anus.

While being subjected to the torture methods, Gutierrez confessed to trying to extort Dalel. However, following a medical examination, medics found evidence of torture. Nevertheless, a judge convicted the victims who wasn’t until 2006, twelve years after he had been arrested and one year after the international court convicted Colombia for Gutierrez’ torture.

In the meantime, Gutierrez’ torturers had been absolved of charges by a military court in 1998 and weren’t indicted again until 2011.

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