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Colombia’s War Crimes Tribunal Loses 500 Pieces of Evidence

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal JEP ordered to investigate a former auxiliary magistrate over the disappearance of more than 500 documents about the mass killing of civilians.

The documents are evidence in a JEP investigation into 68 murders committed by the military in the Meta province between 2002 and 2008.

In the court order, which was obtained by W Radio, JEP magistrate Alejandro Ramelli accused his former deputy, Juan Carlos Losada, of either disappearing or hiding the documents.

In response to the court order, the Prosecutor General’s Office requested the war crimes tribunal to surrender evidence of the alleged crimes committed by the former auxiliary magistrate.

According to the court order, Losado was responsible for the investigation into the investigations into the mass killing of civilians by soldiers in Meta after joining the JEP in September of 2018.

Losado handed in his resignation on February 8, 2021, after which he was ordered to surrender the so-called “03-Meta” case file to his successor, Paola Andrea Acosta.

The former magistrate formally said he formally handed over the case file on February 16 of that year.

Losado’s assistant, Cristian Quiroz, informed Ramelli on the same day that “I did not enter this information” into the digital archive, because “I only had access to the Meta territory folder until yesterday.”

On February 18, Acosta confirmed she received the file, but warned that “after revising the Act forwarded by Cristian and checking it with the detailed and precise list of [court employee] Laura Mora about the material that enters and leaves the Chamber I was able to establish that more than 500 documents that should be in the case file were missing.”

Martinelli immediately a search to locate the missing documents, but to no avail.

The JEP’s legal secretary, Ingrid Karola Palacios, informed the magistrate that “the aforementioned folder is neither in the chamber’s archives nor in the records where they should be.”

A second search found that Losado’s office never confirmed the receipt of the Meta folder after receiving custody of it.

The former magistrate informed Ramelli on February 20 he had surrendered “the original folder” as “copies” that are useless as evidence in court.

Notwithstanding, Losado surrendered 90 documents and 21 CD’s two days later. Ramelli was informed that these were not original documents and that the original documents had disappeared on March 26, 2021.

The former magistrate was appointed director of the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Legal Affairs department after leaving the JEP.

Source : Colombia Reports