The Prosecutor General announced that it will keep open 21 unresolved cases of crimes committed in the 1980s and 1990s by Pablo Escobar‘s Medellin cartel. The crimes will be elevated to the status of ‘crimes against humanity’.
A unit of 25 prosecutors will be created to continue investigations into crimes committed by the cartel such as the bombing of security agency DAS and newspaper El Espectador’s offices, a terrorist attack on an Avianca flight and a series of murders and kidnappings, El Tiempo reported Thursday.
The announcement comes at a point where the time limit for prosecuting such crimes approaches. Whilst the period of time to prosecute those guilty for the cartel’s crimes is finite, crimes against humanity have no time limit for prosecution.
The unit’s first move will be to interview ex-drug trafficker Hernando Gomez, alias ‘Rasguño’ who alleged that several participants in the Avianca and other attacks remain unprosecuted whilst a cohort of Escobar, Dandenys ‘La Quica’ Muñoz serves five life sentences.
The Prosecutor General’s Office will also attempt to locate survivors of the other cases in hand in the hope of bringing the guilty to justice.
The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to investigate crimes declared as ‘crimes against humanity’ in Colombia.