Colombia drops disputed ‘military exclusion’ plan

Feb 19, 2012, 12:32 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombia’s government is dropping a proposed judicial change that would have let military judges decide whether soldiers should be tried for alleged rights abuses. Human rights groups have opposed the measure.

Justice Minister Carlos Esguerra said Saturday the decision not to seek restoration of the “military exclusion” as part of judicial reform legislation was recommended by a commission that included former magistrates and army generals.

Human Rights Watch had campaigned vigorously against the proposal.

Since a scandal broke in 2008 over extra-judicial killings by Colombia’s military, 368 soldiers and police officers have been convicted of such killings and 700 more still face charges.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Colombia drops disputed ‘military exclusion’ plan