Colombia: army commanders censured for terror at “peace community”

The Colombian Attorney General’s office suspended for 90 days retired army general Pablo A. Rodriguez and Col. Javier V. Hernández for failing to provide security for the village of San José de Apartadó, the self-declared “peace community” in the wartorn Urabá region of the country. The ruling said that the officials’ actions left the community “vulnerable to illegal armed groups on several occasions.”

It noted that during 2001 and 2002, when Gen. Rodriguez was a commander of the Brigade 17, with headquarters in nearby Carepa, illegal groups frequently San José de Apartadó, “burning goods and terrorizing the inhabitants, and despite this [Rodriguez] failed to comply with his obligation to recommend an efficient and opportune military strategy of security and defense.” Similar charges were made against Hernández, commander of the “Battalion of Engineers No. 17—Bejarano Muñoz.” The statement adds the situation at San José de Apartadó led to official measures ordering Colombian authorities to protect the community by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (CIDH). (El Tiempo, Bogota, April 2, via Red de Defensores)

See our last post on Colombia, and on San José de Apartadó