Colombian NGOs are to present innumberable unsolved cases of alleged human rights violations and war crimes to the International Criminal Court, which will be closely monitoring criminal justice proceedings in Colombia from November 1.
Pais Libre, an NGO working towards justice for victims of Colombia’s Armed Conflict, will be among three NGOs to present cases of war crime and crimes against humanity committed in Colombia – which will include over 40 hostage cases – to the prosecutor for the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo.
The cases will include those of the kidnapping and murder by FARC guerrillas of 11 officials from the Valle region in 2002, as well as the high profile case of Daniela Vanegas, the 15 year old school girl whose body was found in Bogota in 2004, one year after she was reported missing. The FARC were also blamed for her death after demanding one million dollars for her release.
According to Colombian media, such cases have been documented by Pais Libre because their status’ comply with the definition of human rights violations laid out according to international statutes.
The document demonstrates that the cases indicate systematic practice of human rights violations spread throughout Colombia, the alleged perpetrators of which are predominantly guerrilla and paramilitary bosses.
Pais Libre has also included 25 cases which they consider to conform with the definition of war crimes.
These war crime cases have been immune to justice due to the Safeguard law implemented seven years ago by the Colombian government. This law prevented the recognition of war crimes committed during the Colombian Armed Conflict and will be lifted in November 2009 and enabling justice to be granted to many victims of unsolved crimes.