WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 May 2013 | Video

Justice for Colombia’s San José Peace Community?

This event was livestreamed at 12:30 PM ET on Thursday, May 16. The full event video is available below.


The 2005 massacre of eight civilians, including three children, in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia, shocked human rights organizations and policymakers in Colombia and throughout the world, particularly as it became clear that the crime was perpetrated by paramilitaries in collaboration with the Colombian military. In response to the massacre, organizations like WOLA, Peace Brigades International (PBI), the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) worked with policymakers in Washington, D.C., to prohibit future U.S. funding to the military brigade implicated in the massacre and to suspend all military aid to Colombia for six months.

Eight years later, however, the search for justice in this case continues. Though a handful of paramilitaries and low-ranking military officials have been convicted, there has been little progress in prosecuting high-ranking officials implicated in the crime. Human rights lawyer Jorge Molano has tirelessly fought to advance those prosecutions, and has been the subject of multiple threats as a result of his work on this and other cases. In this event video, Mr. Molano discusses recent advances in the case and the many obstacles that remain in the search for justice.  
Jorge Molano is a Bogotá-based human rights lawyer, who has for many years worked on behalf of victims and relatives in several cases of grave human rights violations committed by (mostly) senior level army officers and paramilitaries. In addition to the 2005 massacre case, his cases include the emblematic Palace of Justice disappearances and several extrajudicial execution cases.