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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:36 PM

Colombia should exhume victims of military killings: UN .

Source: Colombia Reports

Colombia should exhume victims of military killings: UN .
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 08:47 Brandon Barrett

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on executions advised Colombia's government Monday to exhume the bodies of suspected victims of extrajudicial killings committed by the military to determine their identities.

In a report presented to the UN's Human Rights Council, Christof Heyns urged Colombia to investigate the military killings, specifically referring to La Macarena graveyard in the southeastern department of Meta, a mass grave that allegedly contains the bodies of over 2,000 people, including suspected victims of extrajudicial murders.

He called for greater accountability for those responsible and greater protection for potential victims and witnesses of extrajudicial murders and their families. He added that reports indicate "more than 3,000 people may have been victims of summary executions directly attributable to the armed forces."


The UN representative expressed his concern over "retaliation and pressure" directed towards military judges trying to investigate the suspected killings. He also claimed that the Military Ombudsman, the body responsible for defending the army's accused, had willfully hampered investigations. On the other hand, Heyns praised the fact that several cases were transferred to civilian courts but warned of "continuing attempts by military courts to assert jurisdiction."

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/24651-colombia-should-exhume-bodies-of-extrajudicial-victims-un.html

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