Retired General Jesus Armando Arias Cabrales has been sentenced to 35 years for the disappearance of 11 people in the Palace of Justice siege 25 years ago.
Judge Cristina Trejos Salazar found Arias guilty of the aggravated forced disappearance of Carlos Horacio Uran, an assistant judge to the Council of State, as well as cafeteria workers, two visitors and guerrilla Irma Franco Pineda on November 6 and 7, 1985.
Investigations found that the eleven victims escaped the siege alive, but were “disappeared” by the army, never to be seen again.
Arias’ sentence is the highest that anyone has received so far in relation to the event, the previous being the one handed down in June 2010 to Colonel Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega of 30 years in prison for his role in the dissapearances.
Bogota‘s Palace of Justice, the seat of Colombia’s Supreme Court, was taken over by M-19 guerrillas on November 6, 1985. Judges, staff, and members of the public were taken hostage. One hundred people, including 11 judges, died during the military’s re-taking of the building.