November 17, 2008

Breaking the Grip?

Obstacles to Justice for Paramilitary Mafias in Colombia

Map of Colombia
I. Summary and Recommendations
II. Background: Paramilitaries, Impunity, and the Justice and Peace Law..
III. Changes to the Justice and Peace Law..
Constitutional Court Ruling
Executive Decrees
IV. Confessions under the Justice and Peace Law..
Problems in the Taking of Confessions
Flawed Lists of Applicants
Insufficient Resources
Most Applicants Have Withdrawn from the Process
Types of Abuses Confessed
Paramilitaries' Statements about Accomplices
Statements Implicating Members of the Security Forces
Statements Implicating Politicians
Statements Implicating Businesses and Economic Backers
Unanswered Questions
The La Rochela Massacre
The Mapiripán Massacre
The El Aro Massacre
The El Salado Massacre
The Chengue Massacre
Extraditions of Paramilitary Leaders
The Government's Failure to Ensure Paramilitaries Fulfill their Commitments
The Impact of Extraditions on Truth and Accountability in Colombia
What the US Department of Justice Could Do
V. The Parapolitics Investigations
Background on Supreme Court Investigations
The Role of the Attorney General's Office
Status of Prominent Cases
Initial Progress in Cases Related to Jorge 40's Computer
Delays and Cases of Concern in the Attorney General's Office100
Uribe Administration Response110
Proposal to let the "Parapoliticians" Out of Prison111
Attacks on the Supreme Court112
Failure to Adequately Reform Congress122
Judicial Reform Proposal124
VI. International Legal Standards127
Victims' Rights to Truth, Justice, and Non-Repetition of Abuses127
The Right to Justice127
The Right to Truth130
Potential for Involvement of the International Criminal Court131