Another court declares state directly involved in formation of paramilitaries, demands apology


The High Court of Medellin has found the Colombian State responsible both through failing to act and through direct involvement in the abuses committed by the paramilitary units set up in northwest Colombia. The ACCU as they were known were the main paramilitary group to later form the United Self Defence Force of Colombia, the group which through the 90s was responsible for the most serious period of human rights violations in Colombia’s history.

The ruling recognised the role of state agents in the formation and expansion of paramilitary groups with the objective of using “murder, extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution…as part of a policy of terror with the purpose of taking control of territory and the population to implement the paramilitary project.”

The ruling which was made after analysis of testimonies from demobilised paramilitaries went on to state that, “the paramilitaries were the result of a policy from a wide range of state departments,” and it ordered the state to recognise “publicly” that, “it has responsibility by action and omission for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the paramilitaries…and in name of the state express regret for these actions…”