Trials against 179 former FARC guerrillas begin

Indo Asian News Service

Bogota, March 23 (IANS) Trials against former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for 900 crimes including homicide, forced disappearance have begun, said the prosecutor's office.

The trials began in the Justice and Peace Chamber of the Superior Tribunal of Bogota, Efe news reported on Wednesday.

Leonardo Cabana, a prosecutor from the Office of the Attorney General, said the 179 former FARC guerrillas being questioned have accepted the Justice and Peace Law of Colombia, or Law 975, of 2005.

This law sets out alternative sentences of five to eight years imprisonment for those responsible for serious crimes.

The former guerrillas are being questioned over attacks on the Miraflores military base in Guaviare, the municipalities of Mitu and Puerto Lleras, and villages of El Billar and Puerto Rico, the prosecution said in a statement.

They are also accused of several other crimes, including kidnappings.

Under the peace agreement signed between the government and the FARC on November 24, the Senate of Colombia approved the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

The JEP will investigate, sentence and punish those responsible for the most serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, forced disappearance, torture, forced displacement, sexual violence, forced prostitution and sexual slavery.