Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday called the sentencing to 35 years of an army general for the disappearance of 11 civilians in the 1985 siege of the country’s palace of justice in Bogota “unjust.”
According to Santos, retired general Jesus Armando Arias Cabrales has always given his best to defend Colombia and its people and the trial against him saw several examples of injustice.
Arias Cabrales is the highest ranking former military official to be sentenced for the disappearance of eleven civilians who were rescued from the palace of justice while the army was recovering the building from M-19 guerrillas who had occupied it.
The retired army general at that time was the commander of the army’s 18th Brigade.
With his criticism on the sentencing of retired general Jesus Armando Arias Cabrales, Santos on Saturday broke the promise not to interfere with the country’s judicial branch.
Santos’ remarks were followed by criticism of family members of the disappeared who told national radio that Santos had promised them to not interfere in the judicial cases against members of the military accused of having disappeared the civilians.