Justice for justice : violence against judges and lawyers in Colombia : 1979-1991

Latin America
Document Type: Thematic Report
Date: 1992

Colombian reality, characterized by long-standing political violence, among other types of violence, has a particularly victimized sector in its judges an d lawyers; this has led to the administration of justice or the practice of law as dangerous professions.

The purpose of the following investigation carried  out by the “Comisión Andina de Juristas Seccional Colombiana” (Andean Commission of Jurists Colombian Section) and sponsored by the ICJ,  is to analyze thirteen years of violent acts against judges and lawyers which are the result of the exercising of their profession (1979-1991). It shows a dismaying panorama concerning the independence of the judicial power and the protection of legal professionals in Colombia.

The thirteen years covered by the study are a perfect general view of Colombia during the last decade. The violence encouraged by the government as well as that perpetrated by paramilitary groups, drug-traffickers and guerrilla groups appears throughout the period covered by the study, as does the manifest impunity of the acts carried out by them . The efforts encouraged by the State to stop this atmosphere of anguish have not been effective enough, nor can they be considered respectful of human rights.

The remarkable number of cases registered, the combination of different factors and motives for violence that are briefly described in the research report, the types of violence, and even the particularities in the consummation of the deed show the complexity of Colombia’s case. This complexity, which can not be assimilated as a state of confusion, has created an atmosphere of resignation that has not promoted integrated responses, but rather temporary, short-term ones to the problem of violence in Colombia.

The study is based upon a substantial collection of statistical data, which are also reproduced in the report.

Colombia-violence against judges and lawyers-thematic report-1992-eng (full text in English, PDF)

Colombia-violence against judges and lawyers-thematic report-1992-spa (full text in Spanish, PDF)

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