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Human Rights Prosecutors Attacked in Northern Colombia

Unidentified armed men opened fire on a helicopter transporting human rights prosecutors who were on their way to northern Colombia to investigate army abuse allegations.

The army helicopter that was carrying approximately 20 prosecution and Inspector General investigators came under attack as it was trying to land in Tierralta, a war-torn municipality in Cordoba.

In response to the attack, the prosecutors were flown to the 17th army brigade’s base in the town of Carepa before traveling to Tierralta over land.

The alleged army brutality

The investigation kicked off after locals from a rural part of Tierralta shared videos on social of unidentified armed men had threatened the townsfolk on Monday.

Social media channels initially assumed the men belonged to a guerrilla group.

This was contradicted by the National Army’s 7th Division, which said in a press statements that the armed men appeared to belong to one of the 11th Brigade’s infantry units.

The Ombudsman’s Office said that the group of armed men additionally were suspected of sexually abusing a woman from the indigenous community in the region.

A commission of prosecutors, inspector general investigators and human rights officials subsequently departed from the capital Bogota to investigate the situation in the south of Cordoba.

Army embarrassed by incidents

In the meantime, the National Army said that it had dispatched troops to provide security for the people who had reported the alleged soldiers’ behavior.

A military justice tribunal said that it would assume the investigation into the incident, despite the fact that alleged human rights violations ought to be tried before a civilian court.

Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa rejected the military justice tribunal and the army’s apparent failure to protect the team that was supposed to travel to Tierralta.

The incident is the latest of four army operations that ended up targeting civilians since 2021.

Source : colombiareports