Official Report Illustrates Uribe Carnage

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 27 January 2011

A new report by the Colombian National Attorney-General’s Office contains figures illustrating the terrible toll on human lives taken by the government’s Democratic Security Policy. The Attorney-General’s office has outlined a picture of the extent of the human rights abuses committed by paramilitary groups that occurred between 2005 and 2010, based on information provided by evidence and testimonies of former paramilitaries.

It catalogues 173 183 killings, 1597 massacres, and nearly 80 000 cases of forced displacement in that period. It also notes 34 467 cases of forced disappearance, although the Legal Forensic Office has counted 38 255 cases of forced disappearance in the last four years of President Uribe’s rule.

These crimes were committed by paramilitary forces, often acting in collusion with state forces, as is illustrated by the astonishing figures provided by witness statements and other evidence, for people with presumed links to these crimes: 429 politicians, 381 members of the armed forces and 155 government functionaries as well as 7000 others.

This shows that far from being a separate actor from the state, the paramilitaries continue to act with their tolerance and assistance – something which unfortunately, according to Human Rights Watch, has not ceased to be the case. Retired Colonel Hernan Orozco, who now lives in exile recently explained that the relationship between the armed forces and the paramilitaries was similar to that of a ‘mistress’ – “you can’t take her home, but you have to have her.”

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