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Cablegate: New Arrests in 2005 San Jose de Apartado Massacre

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INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0191
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ APR LIMA 6073
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 001282

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS CO
SUBJECT: NEW ARRESTS IN 2005 SAN JOSE DE APARTADO MASSACRE

REF: 07 BOGOTA 8400

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SUMMARY
--------

1. On March 14, the Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia)
ordered the capture of 15 members of the Velez Battalion of
the Army's 17th Brigade in connection to the February 21,
2005 massacre of eight people, including three children,
connected to the San Jose de Apartado peace community.
Thirteen of the fifteen are in detention, with one deployed
abroad and another (retired) at large. The arrest orders
resulted from testimony provided by a former paramilitary in
the Justice and Peace Law process. Investigations continue;
human rights groups and peace community members noted the
positive development but demanded more arrests. The military
said they are cooperating fully with Fiscalia's orders. END
SUMMARY.

-----------------
Thirteen Arrested
-----------------

2. The Fiscalia sent a communication to Army Commander
General Mario Montoya on March 14 ordering the detention of
15 service members for their connection to the February 21,
2005 La Rebolasa Massacre in San Jose de Apartado in which
eight people, including three small children, were killed.
The military arrested 13 of those accused. One active duty
member is stationed in the Sinai (Egypt), and another is
retired. The retired official is currently at large. The 15
members include 3 sub-lieutenants (Alejandro Jaramillo
Giraldo, Jorge Humberto Milanes Vega, and Edgar Garcia
Estupinan), 4 sergeants (Angel Maria Padilla Petro, Henry
Guasmayan Ortega, Dario Jose Brango Agamez, and Oscar Jaime
Gonzalez) and 8 corporals (Sabarain Cruz Reina, Ricardo
Bastidas Candia, Hector Londono Ramirez, Luis Gutierrez
Echeverri, Jesus David Cardona Casas, Yuber Carranza
Rodriguez, Ramon Mican Guativa, and Jose Carmona).

--------------------------------------
Justice and Peace Testimony Moves Case
--------------------------------------

3. The 15 were implicated in testimony provided by
demobilized paramilitary Jorge Luis Salgado David in the
Justice and Peace Law process. Salgado went into great
detail describing the massacre, including gruesome specifics
about other paramilitary members Jose Climaco Falco (alias
Cobra) and Joel Jose Vargas Florez participating in the
murder of one of the children. On November 22, the Fiscalia
ordered the detention of Army Captain Guillermo Gordillo for
his participation in the massacre (ref), based in part on the
testimony of another demobilized paramilitary, Andriano Jose
Cano Arteaga, who testified that Gordillo had worked with the
paramilitaries and patrolled with them various times.

4. The Fiscalia cited the arrests as evidence of its
commitment to follow investigations wherever the evidence
leads. The military noted its commitment to cooperate with
civilian authorities and courts in locating military
personnel accused of human rights abuses. The peace
community in San Jose de Apartado and human rights groups
said the arrests are a step forward and validate the
community's claims that the military has targeted them for
harassment. Still, they called for further investigation of
senior military officers allegedly tied to the crime, as well
as officials they believe covered up evidence of military
involvement.
BROWNFIELD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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