Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | September 29, 2011

Justice is Achilles heel

President Santos said Colombia’s Achilles heel is the administration of justice. Impunity levels are running at some 90 percent. When most walk free, the credibility of the authorities is undermined. The president said the security forces will work more closely with those who prosecute crimes.

There are two cases that have caught my attention recently:

Pedro Antonio Agámez Díaz was sentenced to 40 years in prison and fined a large sum for recruiting “false positives,” the young civilian men, from poor backgrounds, who were found dead and whom the Armed Forces passed off as dead guerrillas. The authorities were motivated by days off and other benefits. At least two of Díaz’s victims, Camilo Andrés Valencia and Daniel Suárez Martínez, were from Soacha, a suburb of Bogotá, and were found in Ocaña in Norte de Santander department.

Luis Alberto Flórez Pérez and Iván Patiño were convicted for their responsibility in cases of forced displacement in Chocó department between 1997 and 2002. The two were involved in palm cultivation and were complices of armed groups who displaced families from their land. Pérez is sentenced to four years and two months of jail time, and Patiño is sentenced to five years and two months.


  1. Check out this USOC-WOLA collaborative report on the Santos administration’s first year in office. The report documents policies and measures taken regarding key human rights issues, and points out where effective protection of these rights is not taking place.

    For more information visit Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @USOCHumanRights, or to find us on Facebook.

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