Once again, the representatives of the victims call for the postponement of the extradition of alias “HH”
COMISIÓN COLOMBIANA DE JURISTAS Organización no gubernamental con estatus consultivo ante la ONU Filial de la Comisión Internacional de Juristas (Ginebra) y de la Comisión Andina de Juristas (Lima) PERSONERÍA JURÍDICA: RESOLUCIÓN 1060, AGOSTO DE 1988 DE LA ALCALDÍA MAYOR DE BOGOTÁ Once again, the representatives of the victims call for the postponement of the extradition of alias “HH” By means of a tutela action, the suspension of the extradition of the paramilitary boss is sought, until the victims’ rights to truth, justice, and reparation are guaranteedThe Colombian Commission of Jurists, representing the victims of the paramilitaryleader Éver Veloza García, alias “HH”, filed a tutela action demanding thesuspension of the extradition of that member of the paramilitary until the legalprocesses against him, being carried out in the framework of the Law of Justiceand Peace for serious human rights violations committed in Colombia, come to anend.The tutela action was lodged considering that the untimely extradition of alias “HH,”to be judged in the United States for less serious crimes than those for which he isbeing charged in Colombia, implies the violation of the fundamental rights ofVeloza García’s victims to truth, justice, and reparation.The plaintiff organization requested as provisional measure the suspension of theextradition of “HH” until the tutela action was ruled on merits, considering thismeasure necessary and urgent in order to protect the rights of the victims, as wellas to guarantee the efficacy of a possible favorable ruling on the tutela action.Today, the magistrate Nancy Yanira Muñoz of the Criminal Chamber of the HighTribunal of Bogotá, who is sponsor of this tutela action, rejected the provisionalmeasure, thereby denying all guarantees to the victims, since the extradition of theparamilitary “HH” is imminent.Éver Veloza García is linked to the process regulated by Law 975, also known asLaw of Justice and Peace, in the context of which he has provided importantinformation on paramilitarism in Colombia, on the alliances between paramilitariesand the military forces of Colombia, as well as on links with politicians,businessmen, and companies. Likewise, he has provided information about thelocation of mass graves and, unlike other paramilitaries, he has publicly asked thefamilies of the victims for forgiveness for his acts. He has also rendered testimonyat important trials before the ordinary justice system, such as the case againstGuillermo Valencia Cossio.We reiterate that more time is needed for HH to complete his process within theLaw of Justice and Peace, since he has yet to confess all his crimes. We would liketo stress that Veloza García promised in January that he would provide informationabout five thousand crimes committed in the regions of Urabá, Cauca, and Valle Calle 72 Nº 12-65 piso 7 Tel: (571) 3768200 – (571) 3434710 Fax : (571) 3768230 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.coljuristas.org Bogotá, Colombia
2del Cauca, where he operated as paramilitary commander. Also, he has keyinformation on the location of hundreds of mass graves.In case alias “HH” is extradited, the risk is great that he will refuse to continuecooperating, or that he will request to be withdrawn from the processes linked tothe justice and peace law. Also, when those responsible for serious human rightsviolations and crimes against humanity are removed from the Colombian justicesystem, the Colombian State fails to fulfill its international obligations. In the samesense, unjustified and insurmountable limitations are set to the victims’ access toeffective judicial channels, and in the United States there are no effectiveguarantees for the advancement of the investigations within the justice and peaceproceedings.The Colombian Commission of Jurists reiterates its call to the Colombian and U.S.authorities to refrain from carrying out the extradition of the paramilitary ÉverVeloza García, alias “HH”, until the trials in Colombia come to an end and thevictims’ rights are fully guaranteed.Postponing the extradition of “HH” does not mean blocking it absolutely. It meansonly enforcing it after he has fulfilled all his obligations before the Colombianjustice. There is no judicial or practical reason that can justify his extradition at thistime, when investigations are taking place for serious human rights violations andcrimes against humanity. On these investigations depends that the rights of thevictims of these crimes are effectively recognized and, if possible, fulfilled.At the very least, we demand that the extradition be postponed until there is aruling on the merits of the tutela action filed by the Colombian Commission ofJurists on behalf of the victims, including the possibility of an eventual appealbefore the Supreme Court of Justice.For further information, please contact Gustavo Gallón Giraldo, Director CCJ(Tel. 376 8200, ext.115).