The trial against ten soldiers who are accused of being involved in the 2005 massacre of eight
people in the San Apartado peace community in the north west of Colombia began Monday.
Ten soldiers belonging to the Battalion Velez of the 17th Brigade are charged with the murder of five adults and three children. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office the victims were tortured, “then executed and in the end, in true acts of cruelty, quartered and hid in a ditch.”
Authorities initially blamed left wing guerrillas for the massacre, but
according to testimonies by both soldiers and demobilized paramilitaries, the army
and paramilitary organization AUC carried out the operation together.
The prosecution had investigated 66 soldiers but only found enough evidence to start a trial against ten of them.
The massacre caused great outrage since the Peace Community was
established in March 1997 with the intention of staying neutral in
Colombia’s conflict. The community was under protection of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.