The Colombian police, supported and pressured by the U.S., made quick work of this robbery-turned-tragedy. The upscale crime scene was full of video cameras, which, combined with sources amongst the taxi drivers, enabled the police to identify the alleged muggers. Today, some six people are in custody and there's talk of them being extradited to the U.S. for trial and imprisonment (which makes not sense to me). City officials are looking at ways to reform the taxi industry to keep out criminals.
The episode is a success for the law and hopefully sends a message to perpetrators of the notorious paseo millonario, or secuestro express, in which taxistas and their accomplices rob passengers and drive them around, forcing them to withdraw money from their bank accounts.
|A graffiti on a pole in central Bogotá pays tribute to |
the mothers of the false positives victims from Soacha .
More than 21 military personnel have been charged for either participating in the killings of the five Soacha victims or the ensuing cover-up.
But today, the mothers of the five young men complain that the case has stalled as the courts accept one delaying manuever after another from the mlitary lawyers.
"It's not fair that, after five years of the case, every time we go to court, the military officials say 'There's no hearing. Stop the hearing,' one of the mothers told El Espectador.
The women also complain that their own lawyers no longer return their telephone calls - perhaps because the women are poor, or because the lawyers have been intimidated or threatened. Recently, a judge denied the women's request to carry out a key round of tests on the evidence. The horrific false positives episode, which took place during the aggressive anti-guerrilla war carried out by the Uribe administration, received a great deal of attention in the Colombian and international press. Human rights organizations denounced the killings.
It's great to see Colombian police respond aggressively and effectively in the DEA agent's case. He was newly married, and the capture of the apparent killers provides some solace to his wife and family. But if only the legal system gave equal importance to all victims, particularly when they are the humblest Colombians.