[RSS][Colombia] Colombia’s former army intelligence chief sentenced to 31 years

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[RSS][Colombia] Colombia’s former army intelligence chief sentenced to 31 years

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A court sentenced a former general to 31 years in prison for his role in the 1985 siege and destruction of Colombia’s Palace of Justice in the capital. Bogota’s Superior Tribunal overturned a 2011 ruling by a lower court, which absolved the National Army’s former intelligence chief, General Ivan Ramirez of forced disappearance charges. According to the regional court, Ramirez and retired colonel Fernando Blanco were responsible for the arrest and subsequent forced disappearance of Irma Franco, a member of guerrilla group M-19. A day before her arrest, Franco and some 30 other M-19 guerrillas took more than 300 hostages, including 11 members of the Supreme Court, inside the Palace of Justice. In response, the army command ordered its soldiers to destroy the building and kill everyone inside. This military offensive cost the lives of more than 100 people, including the captive Supreme Court magistrates. Colombia’s military never meant to spare hostages in Palace of Justice siege Franco was able to escape from the Palace of Justice as part of a group of liberated hostages. Military Intelligence officials recognized her, however, and she was arrested. Franco was last seen while being transported to the building of the unit commanded by Ramirez, the Intelligence an Counterintelligence Operational Command. Ten other people who escaped from the Palace of Justice, mostly employees, disappeared on the same day as Franco. Investigations into the Palace of Justice siege were long opposed by the military, which sustained that the M-19 was responsible for the deaths during the guerrilla occupation and military attack. Blanco remained active in the National Army until 1998 and has also consistently denied any wrongdoings. War crimes tribunal JEP opened an investigation into the former intelligence chief for his alleged role in the extermination of members of the Patriotic Union, a leftist political party. The former commander of the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC, Salvatore Mancuso, accused Blanco of being a key player in the creation of death squads that killed thousands of people during the armed conflict. The post Colombia’s former army intelligence chief sentenced to 31 years appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.

Source: https://colombiareports.com/colombias-f ... -31-years/

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