Colombia’s war crimes tribunal to hear kidnapping victims behind closed doors
Case #001 of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) received thousands of case files from the prosecution of people who were kidnapped by the former guerrillas, many of whom never returned.
While the hearings of the JEP are public, the court decided to hear victims who will testify in this week’s sessions in Bogota and Neiva in private.
The surviving victims of kidnappings and the family members of people who have presumably died during their captivity requested to maintain anonymity citing fears of repercussions for their testimonies.
Among the victims who requested to be heard privately is former Congresswoman Gloria Polanco, whose husband was assassinated by the FARC in 2005 while she and her two sons were held hostage by the group.
If traumatized victims want to, they can also leave only a written testimony.
According to the prosecutor general’s office, the FARC is responsible for at least 8,163 of the more than 27,000 registered kidnappings registered since 1970, making the group the primary perpetrator of this war crime.