One ruling, by the Interamerican Court of Human Rights, found the Colombian government responsible for the 1998 bombing by the Colombian Air Force of the town of Santo Domingo, Arauca, in which 17 people were killed and dozens injured, including many children. At the time, the Army was fighting guerillas in the jungle just outside of town. Military officials and others variously charged that the victims were guerrillas or that guerrillas had planted a car bomb in the town. But investigations, including by the Los Angeles Times newspaper, showed that the Air Force had bombed the town without justification. The tragedy also implicated United States companies, because the Occidental Petroleum Company, whose Caño Limon pipeline is nearby, had provided the local military with food and other supplies, and a Florida-based company helped locate bombing targets for the planes.
|Victims of the Union Patriotica Genocide.|
|The tomb of Jaime Pardo Leal, the UP's presidential candidate, |
assassinated in Cundinamarca in 1987.
And that history is why the peace talks now starting up in Havana face such a huge challenge to overcome the warring sides' mutual distrust.
|The tomb of Manuel Cepeda Vargas, |
a journalist, lawyer and leader of the UP.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours