The State Council has sentenced the state to pay a large sum of money for failing to take appropriate measures to prevent a 1996 FARC attack on a military base, in which over 100 people were either killed, injured or taken hostage.
The council sentenced the state to pay nearly $1 million (COP1.68 billion) to family members of three victims of the attack on the “Las Delicias” military base in Colombia’s southern Putumayo department, for grave errors made on the night of the invasion, which facilitated the events that occurred.
The president of the High Tribunal, Judge Mauricio Fajardo, said that it “arrived to the conclusion that there was occasion to patrimonially sentence the state because various faults in service had presented themselves,” reported Caracol Radio.
According to the judge, these errors involved the failure to take appropriate prevention measures to avoid an armed invasion, including a lack of sufficient training for those occupying the military base at the time.
Fajardo added that there was no explanation for what took nearby military units to come to the aid of those under attack.
He stated that they “committed an omission in the support that should have been given by various military bases nearby and the Commander General of the armed forces, despite calls of alert and assistance that were opportunely made from the base ‘Las Delicias,’ when the guerrilla invasion began on the night of August 30, 1996.”
The judge also ordered criminal and disciplinary investigation of the high military command during the period in which the events occurred.
More than 30 army members were killed during the 1996 invasion of Las Delicias by 600 FARC guerrillas, 18 were seriously injured and 60 people in total were taken hostage. The hostages were released the following June.