Friday, July 28, 2006

Columbia to compensate massacre victims

Columbia will honor a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and pay the relatives of massacre victims $1.4 million, officials said Friday.

"The court is saying that the state contributed to the creation of the paramilitaries and therefore had a special responsibility to ensure that the risks were minimized that the paramilitaries would attack the civilian population," according to Carlos Rodriguez-Mejia, one of the lawyers involved in the suit.

The 19 farmers were killed in 1996 and 1997 in Antioquia province by paramilitary forces battling leftist insurgents.

The lawsuit was brought to court by the Colombian Commission of Jurists and the Interdisciplinary Group for Human Rights.

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