History of Colombia
Massacres in Colombia
1997 in Colombia
History of Colombia Forum
The Mapiripan Massacre was a of civilians that took place in Mapiripan, Meta Department, Colombia. The massacre was carried out from July 15 to July 20 1997 by the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a Colombian paramilitary group backed by the Colombian government, and by the Chiquita corporation.
On July 12, 1997 two planeloads of paramilitaries arrived at the airport of San Jose del Guaviare, which also served as a base for anti-narcotics police. The paramilitaries then traveled through territories where the Colombian National Army manned checkpoints.
On July 15, 1997, the paramilitiaries arrived at Mapiripan. They used chainsaws and machetes to murder, behead, dismember, and disembowel a number of civilians. Because the bodies were thrown into a river, it is unknown exactly how many people died.
In proceedings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the government of Colombia has admitted that members of its military forces also played a role in the massacre, through omission. General Jaime Uscategui allegedly ordered local troops under his command to stay away from the area in which the murders were taking place until the paramilitaries finished the massacre and left. Retired General Uscategui was later prosecuted, put on trial, and subsequently acquitted.
The 25th of November of 2009, the Superior Tribunal of Bogota, revoked the previous sentence, and condemned General Uscategui to 40 years of prison.
Hernan Orozco, the former colonel accused of failing to stop the massacre, was given a forty-year sentence for murder in 2007.
One of the paramilitary leaders allegedly responsible for the massacre, Dumas de Jesus Castillo Guerrero, alias Carecuchillo, surrendered to authorities on May 20, 2008. after having been considered dead for half a year.
Uscategui arrest and conviction
Jaime Humberto Uscategui, a former army general whom it found had ignored calls for help during the massacre, was arrested in 1999. His trial took place in a military court and he was given forty months in prison for "omission" in 2001.
On 25 November 2009, the Bogota superior tribunal announced in a ruling of ninety pages that it had granted a forty-year prison sentence to Jaime Humberto Uscategui. It was the longest sentence that had ever been given to an officer in the army in the country's history. Jaime Humberto Uscategui was declared guilty of kidnapping, murdering and falsifying documents belonging to the public. His sentencing came at the age of 61. He is still innocent, according to himself. He said, "I have the tranquillity of innocence and I also have the tranquillity of proof".
List of massacres in Colombia
War on Drugs
Case of the "Mapiripan Massacre" v. Colombia. Judgment on Merits, Reparations and Costs Inter-American Court of Human Rights, September 15, 2005.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mapiripan Massacre