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Cablegate: Goc Ordered to Compensate Families of Victims Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BOGOTA 005327

SIPDIS

GENEVA FOR JEFF DELAURENTIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM MARR MASS PTER PINR PREL CO
SUBJECT: GOC ORDERED TO COMPENSATE FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF
SANTO DOMINGO BOMBING

1. On May 25, the Administrative Tribunal of Arauca
department ordered the Government of Colombia to pay 2
billion pesos (approximately USD 770,000) to the families of
17 persons killed in an Air Force bombing of the village of
Santo Domingo, Arauca department, in December 1998. The
Tribunal ruled against compensating the family of an 18th
alleged victim because of insufficient proof that the
individual died in the bombing. Fifty-five relatives of the
17 confirmed victims will be compensated monetarily, the
amount depending on how each relative was affected by the
bombing. Wilson Arcila, president of the tribunal, said the
decision was based on evidence (including an FBI report) that
the pilot of the helicopter allegedly responsible for the
bombing authorized the attack despite knowing civilians were
present in the village.

2. The decision in the civil case comes five months after the
Prosecutor General's Office ("Fiscalia") charged the
helicopter pilot, co-pilot, and navigator with involuntary
manslaughter. The three now face trial in civilian court.
Embassy will continue to monitor progress in the criminal
case and inquire about the impact of the administrative
tribunal's ruling.
WOOD

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