Clinic News

Human Rights Clinic Expert: Colombia’s Justice System Must End Impunity for Gross Violations of Human Rights (2/4/08)

In a January 28, 2008 article on the political website Alternet, International Human Rights Law Clinic Associate Director Roxanna Altholz ’99 decries the recent acquittal of Colombian general Jaime Humberto Uscátegui on charges related to the 1997 Mapiripán massacre of 50 civilian villagers. Paramilitary forces tortured the victims for days before hacking them to death. Soldiers under General Uscátegui’s command helped the paramilitaries reach the village and refused to intervene to stop the atrocities. “Colombia has failed to prosecute those responsible for murder, torture, and other abuses during the country's ongoing civil war,” Altholz writes. This failure, she argues, should cause Congress to view with skepticism the claims by the Bush Administration that Colombia has dramatically improved its human rights record. (2/4/08)