1. Towards the middle of 2006 the Republic of Colombia completed the initial stage of demobilizing the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (hereinafter "the AUC"), an illegal armed group involved in committing crimes during the armed conflict. This initial stage consisted of the surrender of weapons by 31,670 individuals identified as members of 38 units of the AUC, and other armed groups operating outside the law, in temporary concentration zones, with international verification by the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (hereinafter the "MAPP/OEA Mission”).
2. Now that this stage is over, the process faces challenges in establishing the responsibility of demobilized personnel who committed crimes, and arranging reparations for victims, pursuant to Law 975 of 2005, the "Justice and Peace Law". Subsequently, that law was challenged as unconstitutional before the Constitutional Court. In response, the Constitutional Court ruled that Law 975 was in general terms constitutional, and it set out conditions for making certain of its provisions compatible with the Constitution.
3. A further fundamental aspect of this process is to ensure the effective dismantling of the armed structures that took part in the demobilization process, and the gradual reintegration of their members into society, to ensure that there will be no repetition of crimes under international law, violations of human rights, and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
4. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has given special attention to monitoring the human rights situation in Colombia, and the use of mechanisms for demobilizing participants in the armed conflict and putting an end to the violence that has afflicted the people of Colombia for the last four decades. Also, since 2004, the IACHR has followed up on the situation as part of its advisory role to the member states of the OAS, the Secretary General of the Organization and the MAPP/OAS Mission. This report presents the IACHR’s conclusions on its in loco observations as to the functioning of the demobilization circuits and the first judicial proceedings for implementing the Justice and Peace Law.
5. On August 2, 2007 the Commission transmitted a copy of the draft report to the Colombian State with 30 days to present observations. In a communication dated September 4, 2007 the State submitted its observations. On September 5, 2007, the State submitted additional observations.
6. The first part of this report addresses the results of the initial stages of the demobilization process. It examines the performance of the agencies involved in identifying the members of AUC units and other armed groups that have submitted to the process; the information system organized for this stage, its potential and the lost opportunities in terms of producing relevant information for fulfilling the objectives set for the demobilization process. The second part of the report examines the first judicial proceedings for implementing the Justice and Peace Law. This section examines the persistent uncertainty as to the rules of the game for the process, and how this is affecting the work of State agencies. It also notes the importance of information collected during the initial stage of demobilization, and how some problems from that stage have led to delays and obstructions in the judicial phase. It offers some evaluations as to the initial proceedings by the Prosecutor General’s Office, and in particular its role and its institutional capacity to investigate crimes and to verify the legal requirements for eligibility for reduced penalties. The third part of the report addresses the question of participation by victims in the initial stages of the process, the availability of mechanisms for protecting victims, witnesses and justice workers, and the problems observed in the reparations system. Finally, the fourth part of the report refers to the challenges of reincorporating demobilized personnel into civilian life. The IACHR concludes its report with a series of observations and recommendations.
7. In the following section, the Commission discusses the results and conclusions from its observation of the conduction and results of two demobilization circuits, together with a series of considerations on the legal framework surrounding the resolution barring prosecution of demobilized personnel for participating in illegal armed groups, and the processes pursued in the context of the Justice and Peace Law.
II. OBSERVATIONS ON THE INITIAL PHASE OF THE DEMOBILIZATION PROCESS
8. Given the importance in terms of clarifying the crimes perpetrated during the armed conflict, the IACHR conducted a series of visits in the designated "concentration zones" for assembling persons for demobilization, in order to observe the work of the entities involved in identifying the members of those structures. For both logistic and substantive reasons, visits were conducted to observe a series of demobilizations in the departments of Cesar and Antioquia. Specifically, on February 27, 2006 the delegation observed the demobilization of members of the Bloque Norte II and III, led by Rodrigo Tovar Pupo alias “Jorge 40”, of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) with influence in the departments of Cesar, la Guajira and Atlántico. On April 25, 2006 the delegation observed the demobilization of the Bloque Élmer Cárdenas, led by Freddy Rendón alias “El Alemán”, with influence in the area of Urabá Chocoano and Western Antioquia. These IACHR visits, aimed at observing the judicial circuits and the surrendering of weapons in the field, were carried out at the invitation and with the support of the Government of Colombia, which facilitated broad and unrestricted access to all areas and activities of the circuits.
A. Observations on the conduction of two demobilization circuits
9. Prior to the formal act of demobilization and surrender of weapons, members of the illegal armed groups were assembled in "concentration zones" designated for that purpose. The so-called "judicial circuit" for demobilization was intended to identify those who had submitted to demobilization, leave a record their membership of the illegal armed structure,  and verify their judicial record for purposes of issuing a resolution (resolución inhibitoria) whereby the national prosecutor's office would be barred from prosecuting them for the crime of sedition, under Law 782 of 2002.
10. The State indicated in its observations to the present report that the procedure to fill in and accept the listings of the demobilized is ruled by Decree 3360 of 2003, pursuant to Article 53 of Law 418 of 1997, extended and modified by Law 548 of 1999, and by Article 21 of Law 782 of 2002 which provides that the connection to the illegal armed group shall be evidenced inter alia by “the express recognition of the leaders and representatives of the group”. The State indicates that the listings of the demobilized filled in and accepted pursuant to Decree 3360 of 2003 have been “sent timely, for the pertinent effects”, by the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace to the following authorities and competent entities: Ministry of Interior and Justice, High Counsel for the Social and Economical Reintegration of Individuals and Armed Groups, Office of the General Procurator, Office of the General Prosecutor and Superior Counsel for the Judiciary.
11. According to the interviews conducted with officials of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, the leaders of the units were supposed to identify members of the armed unit under their command who had agreed to demobilization. In practice, this list was prepared and expanded in the concentration zone at the time of demobilization, as the High Commissioner and the MAPP/OAS Mission facilitated the arrival of these persons in the concentration zone. The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace had an estimate of persons to be demobilized, provided by military intelligence.
12. IACHR observed that failure to present this list, encouraged persons who did not necessarily belong to the armed unit in question to participate of the demobilization circuits. The incentive was the social and economic benefits offered as part of the demobilization process by officials of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace. Every demobilized person received a subsidy of 358,000 pesos for 18 months. In the concentration zone, information was provided indicating that in some cases the leaders had encouraged noncombatant civilians to participate of the demobilization circuits and claim membership in the paramilitary group in order to obtain economic benefits and then reward the leader with a percentage of the amount received from the Government. For its part, the State indicates in its observation that the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace did not receive information nor had any knowledge regarding these circumstances. It adds that, in any case, the AUC were required to dismantle their entire illegal structure, including its net of supporters and financiers.
13. During its visit to the demobilization circuits in the Department of Cesar, the IACHR observed that many persons claiming demobilization status did not appear to be combatants. In the Chimila and La Mesa circuits, the delegation was concerned at the low number of combatants compared to the number of persons who said they were radio operators, food distributors, or laundresses. These persons had been for the most part living in the nearby Villa Germania, and a third of them were women. They repeatedly claimed that they were following direct orders of the "maximum leader" of Bloque Norte, Jorge 40, and they provided no information to identify lower-ranking officers of the armed unit, thus undermining the credibility of their statement.
14. The delegation was told that these demobilized persons, although they were not combatants, were members of the "social support fronts" of the unit in question. On this point, the IACHR confirmed that there were no mechanisms for determining which persons really belonged to the unit, and were therefore entitled to social and economic benefits, nor for establishing consequences in case of fraud. In all cases, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace had approved all the lists of demobilized personnel prepared in the context of the demobilizations effected.
15. In contrast to what was observed in the Department of Cesar, the demobilization conducted in the Department of Antioquia involved for the most part men, and a few women, who seemed clearly to be combatants. In effect, at the circuit proceedings observed in El Cuarenta, the vast majority of persons to be demobilized declared that they were combatants, and that they had belonged to the unit for at least three years. Only a minority were members of the social support network for the unit.
16. The following State agencies were present at the demobilization circuits visited by the IACHR: (1) Office of the High Commissioner for Peace; (2) National Registrar; (3) Technical Investigations Core (CTI); (4) Office of the Prosecutor General (Fiscalía); (5) Administrative Department of Security (DAS) and (6) Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF). The MAPP/OAS Mission and the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) were also present.
17. The first step in the circuit involved a presentation to the candidates for demobilization on the benefits to be received when complying with the requirement of being truthful in their statements to the officials. Officials from the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace explained the features of the process to the persons seeking demobilization, including the legal, social and economic benefits at stake, in return for cooperation in determining the truth.
18. Secondly, to allow demobilization candidates to participate in the circuit, the registrar's office (as the official identification agency) issued identity documents for people who had none.
19. Third, the Technical Investigations Corps (CTI) took fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples from persons to be demobilized, for identification purposes. Should this information be properly conserved it will play an important role in identifying and linking individuals to criminal investigations.
20. Fourth, the Prosecutor General's Office took voluntary statements (versiones libres) from the persons who appeared at the circuit hearings. The purpose was to verify whether the individual did indeed belong to an armed group that had agreed to collective demobilization, so that a ruling could be issued exempting him/her from prosecution for sedition. Proceedings before the prosecutors concluded with signature of a voluntary surrender document and a promise by the candidate not to break the law for the next two years.
21. With respect to the performance of the prosecutors in the judicial circuits, the IACHR noted that those assigned were frequently commissioned only hours before they were dispatched to the concentration zone from various parts of the country. According to information received, they did not belong to any special unit nor did they receive any specific training for the task. Indeed, they normally worked in units investigating crimes such as kidnapping or terrorism. Only in one case did the prosecutor interviewed belong to the National Unit of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. In no case did the prosecutors belong to the Justice and Peace Unit.
22. The questions put by the prosecutors during the voluntary statements given in the judicial circuit consisted of a standard questionnaire that was used in all demobilizations. The questions asked about the name of the illegal armed group to which the person belonged and the date he/she joined it; use of weapons of any kind and their characteristics; use of an alias or nickname; training to join the organization; time spent with the group, where and when he/she traveled; places where the group operated; name of persons belonging to the group; structure of the group, reasons for demobilizing; activities performed within the group; possible mention of his/her participation or that of other persons of the group and other crimes; names of his superiors in the organization; knowledge of persons kidnapped by the group; knowledge of property acquired by the group or organization during its activities.
23. Given the characteristics and the formats used in the questionnaire, the taking of statements was a purely formal procedure. The prosecutors sent to the concentration zones had no instructions to investigate any links that the candidates for demobilization passing through the circuit might have to crimes committed in the area, or to compile information in advance on pending cases that might involve members of AUC units participating in the demobilization.
24. In its observations, the State emphasizes that the model questionnaire “was merely a guide to be considered by the prosecutors, but that in no way was meant to limit the autonomy of the officials to lead the deposition to a happy conclusion”. It also indicates that this procedure “did not have the purpose of having the demobilized reveal other members of the armed unit, let alone acknowledge the crimes committed”.
25. Fifth, the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) verified the police record of persons to be demobilized. Specifically, the DAS checked the police records of persons who had an ID document, consulting the Unified National Archive System, by fax. In cases where candidates had no police record, the DAS provided them with a document (with a photograph and fingerprints) certifying that, at that date, the bearer was not the subject of any national or international arrest warrant for pending proceedings. In cases where a pending proceeding was identified, the DAS issued temporary certificates (valid for one year), recording the status of those persons. In cases where there was an arrest warrant for participation in the armed group, the candidates were "put on hold", and were then taken to Santa Fe de Ralito or another concentration zone specially constituted in the demobilization zone “to the effect of keeping them at the disposal of the judicial authorities.” Presumably these persons would eventually appear on the lists that the High Commissioner for Peace would send to the Justice and Peace Unit of the Prosecutor General's Office, for purposes of enforcing the Justice and Peace Law.
26. Sixth, officials of the MAPP/OAS Mission verified the circulation of demobilization candidates through the judicial circuit and interviewed them about their membership in the armed unit that was demobilizing.
27. Finally, the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) issued documents confirming the identity of demobilized persons who passed through the circuit, and their commitment to surrender their weapons (“carnetización”).
28. Besides the institutions that participated in the judicial circuit, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) was present in the concentration zones where children were recorded as belonging to the units to be demobilized. On this point, Law 975 of 2005 requires that the group to be demobilized must turn over to the ICBF all juveniles recruited, as one of the requirements of eligibility for the generous benefits and penalty reductions established in that Law. Consequently, this entity was brought into the concentration zones by the High Commissioner for Peace on the basis of information provided by leaders of the armed group being demobilized. During the IACHR visits to the judicial circuits, the delegation learned that the ICBF was present in the La Mesa concentration zone, for demobilization of the AUC Bloque Norte, and it also observed the presence of adolescents. In the judicial circuit for demobilizing the Elmer Cárdenas unit, the ICBF was not present, because that group did not surrender any juveniles.
29. The handover of children in the concentration zones was formalized through a so-called "voluntary surrender" document prepared by the ICBF. It should be noted that the ICBF takes under its wing only children who agree to remain in its shelters after voluntary surrender.
30. In parallel with the circuit proceedings (and beyond the symbolic surrender that might take place in the closing session, in the presence of the press and senior Government authorities), officers of the Inter-Agency Antiterrorist Analysis Group (GIAT) received custody of the weapons that were surrendered during the judicial circuit.
31. The report of the High Commissioner for Peace recorded the surrender of 615 firearms during the ten days that the demobilization circuit was held in Chimila, Department of Cesar. The IACHR noted that approximately 800 persons had passed through that circuit on the previous day, but only 65 firearms were received. It also noted that from the 200 persons passing through the circuit at La Mesa on the previous day, roughly 25 firearms were received. None of the weapons surrendered were modern or in good condition.
32. The report of the High Commissioner for Peace indicates that in Antioquia the 484 demobilized persons of the second group of the Elmer Cárdenas unit delivered to the Government a total of 359 weapons. There, the IACHR observed that the weapons surrendered appeared to be neither modern nor, in some cases, in good condition. It also observed that combatants who had not demobilized were standing guard, and that they bore weapons that were modern and in good condition. The State, for its part, indicates in its observations that “a first inspection of the weapons by experts demonstrated that 95% of them was of good quality” and that in any case long weapons had also been decommissioned in rural areas where members of the illegal armed groups were picked up to be transported to the concentration zone, prior to their demobilization.
33. Subsequent to the formal demobilization of the AUC, the police discovered secret caches of weapons that certain AUC groups failed to hand over when they were demobilized. It is hoped that the Colombian Government will investigate these facts and make the results of the investigation public.
B. Observations on the outcome of two demobilization circuits and on the general legal framework
34. Of those demobilized who passed through the demobilization circuit (totaling approximately 28,000) 90% offered no significant information on illegal acts or crimes committed by the paramilitary units to which they belonged. Additionally it was found that only 36% of the total had a police record.
35. The rest of the demobilized members of illegal armed groups benefited from resolutions reprieving them from prosecution when they admitted to the crime of "criminal conspiracy", which term was later changed to "sedition", based merely on their participation in the activities of illegal armed groups. However, in a decision adopted on July 11, 2007, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Colombia dismissed the equivalence between these two legal conducts by establishing the incompatibility of Article 71 of Law 975 of 2005 with the Constitution, precisely because of the similar treatment afforded to common crimes and political crimes.
36. The IACHR notes that the demobilization circuit presented a suitable opportunity for the judicial authorities to go beyond the issuing of resolutions waiving prosecution for sedition, and to gather elements for establishing whether demobilized members of illegal armed groups were involved in crimes that might be punishable under the Justice and Peace Law, yet as noted above, in the course of these voluntary statements the prosecutors received no instructions for delving into the crimes perpetrated and the possible applicability of the Justice and Peace Law.
37. Consequently, the voluntary statement gathered during demobilization circuits constituted a lost opportunity for compiling information on the units, their members, and the socioeconomic dynamics that kept them in existence and operating. That information is crucial today for the work of the prosecutors in the Justice and Peace Unit, as well as for representatives of the victims when it comes to enforcing that Law and verifying that the armed structures have been dismantled.
38. As to the legal framework for this stage of the process, for more than a year and a half the demobilization process took place under the aegis of the individual and collective demobilizations legislation applicable to all members of the illegal armed groups who wished to return to civilian life. That legal framework was based on law 418 of 1997, extended by Congress through Law 782 of December 2002, and then regulated by Decree 128 of 2003. Accordingly, persons who have benefited from a pardon or a decree staying proceedings may not be prosecuted or tried for the same deeds for which the benefits were granted.
39. Although the provisions of Decree 128 of 2003 are for the most part intended to regulate access to social benefits, that Decree also refers to the right to legal benefits such as pardon, conditional suspension of sentence, cessation of proceedings, preclusion from investigation, or waiver of prosecution on the basis of the certificate issued by the Weapons Surrender Committee (CODA). In regulating the provisions of Laws 418 of 1997, 548 of 1999 and 782 of 2002, Decree 128 of 2003 makes it an express condition of the legal benefits that the demobilized person is not under prosecution and has not been convicted for crimes that "according to the Constitution, the law, or international treaties signed and ratified by Colombia are ineligible for this class of benefits". It should be noted that persons tried or convicted for crimes other than bearing arms against the State cannot benefit from pardon, conditional suspension of sentence, cessation of proceedings, preclusion from investigation or waiver of prosecution, through individual demobilization.
40. Since most of the members of the illegal armed groups responsible for crimes against the civilian population have not given testimony or being declared fugitives, it has been argued that the restriction established in Article 21 of Decree 128 of 2003 allows atrocious crimes to go unpunished if formal proceedings have not yet been initiated. According to that interpretation, certification by the CODA would prevent judicial proceedings against persons who have not been tried or convicted prior to their demobilization.
41. One interpretation of these procedural benefits to which the current legal regime refers might be that they apply only to the crime of conspiracy, based on the demobilized person's membership in an illegal armed group. Therefore, the waivers issued in favor of demobilized persons with or without a criminal record at the time of applying for legal benefits should not prevent subsequent investigation and prosecution for crimes other than conspiracy.
42. In short, Law 782 and Decree 128 should not by themselves pose a legal obstacle to investigating crimes against humanity or grave violations of human rights, and the waiver of prosecution contained in that legislation does not have the effect of res judicata with respect to criminal investigations that may be opened in the future. However, this interpretation depends on the course of action that the judicial authorities adopt in each case.
43. In light of the foregoing, it may be concluded that the loopholes, the lack of oversight tools and the absence of systematized mechanisms for identifying demobilized personnel and determining their criminal liability meant, in this stage, the loss of an opportunity to gather vitally important information for proceedings under the Justice and Peace Law.
III. THE FIRST JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE JUSTICE AND PEACE LAW
44. Of the 31,670 persons who demobilized between November 2003 and the middle of 2006, only 2,695 declared their interest in applying for the benefits of the Justice and Peace Law. However, the institutional shortcomings in the demobilization circuits delayed and impeded enforcement of the Justice and Peace Law.
45. Specifically, the number of applicants for benefits under the Justice and Peace Law was made public in the second half of 2006, after the first list delivered by the Government was rejected by the Prosecutor General because it failed to identify a significant proportion of the applicants. In effect, the list included demobilized persons who were not concentrated in Santa Fe de Ralito, as well as persons who had not passed through the demobilization circuits, and even persons who were in Ralito but who sought only the benefits of Decree 128 of 2003 and of Law 782 of 2002, and not those of the Justice and Peace Law.
46. In light of this problem, the Prosecutor General's office and the Justice and Peace Unit called upon persons seeking to benefit under the Justice and Peace Law who had not given a voluntary statement in the demobilization circuit, asking them to fulfill that requirement. Once those persons gave their statement in accordance with Law 782 and other applicable rules, they would be summoned to appear before the prosecutors to give a statement under the Justice and Peace Law.
47. As to the 2,695 applicants in the second list presented by the Government, the Prosecutor General verified that only a much smaller number could be duly located and summoned to give a statement. The remainder, although they were on the list, could not be located because their address, telephone number or true identity was unknown.
48. In this regard, in its observations the State indicates that the High Counsel for the Social Reintegration (ACR) has developed strategies to fill information gaps. Specifically, it refers to “brigades of documentation and reference” conducted during the first semester of 2007 with the support of the DAS, the Army, the General Attorney’s Office, and the Registry Office. It indicates that 28,285 demobilized were in attendance and that 20,380 identification documents (military cards, judicial certificates, identity cards) were issued. The State remarked that “these brigades also received depositions pursuant to Law 782 of 2002 with the participation of Attorney General’s Office. Likewise, Compromise Agreements were signed by the demobilized within this program and the available information on their situation and their families’ was updated, including information on their whereabouts (telephone numbers and addresses).”
 In 2003 the Government of President Alvaro Uribe reached an agreement with the leaders of the AUC to demobilize the units of that illegal armed group in various parts of the country, in exchange for a resolution issued by the Prosecutor General's office to bar prosecution of demobilized personnel for having simply belonged to an illegal armed group, and the promise to establish alternative penalties for those who had committed crimes as members of such groups. See the "Agreement of Santa Fe de Ralito" to contribute to peace in Colombia, of July 15, 2003. The text of that agreement is available at the web page of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace: www.altocomisionadoparalapaz.gov.co/acuerdos/index.htm.
 Over the last 15 years, participants in the internal armed conflict, in particular the AUC and the FARC-EP, have committed massacres as a strategy against the most vulnerable sectors of society such as indigenous peoples, communities of African descent, and displaced persons, and have carried out selective assassinations and kidnappings against human rights defenders, justice workers, labor and social leaders, journalists, and political candidates for election, who have repeatedly been declared military objectives, primarily by the AUC. Dissident armed groups, in particular the FARC-EP, have also carried out indiscriminate bombings and kidnappings in violation of the most basic principles of international humanitarian law, causing numerous victims among the civilian population.
 See www.altocomisionadoparalapaz.gov.co/desmovilizaciones.
 For more than a year and a half the process of demobilization, surrender of weapons and reintegration into civilian life was carried out under existing individual and collective demobilization legislation pursuant to Decree 128 of 2000 and Law 782 of 2002. In June 2005 the National Congress approved Law 975, which came into force on July 22, 2005. On December 30, 2005, Decree 4760 was adopted by the Ministry of Interior and Justice regulating certain aspects of Law 975 dealing with time limits for investigating persons seeking to qualify for benefits under the law (Article 4) and introducing the principle of opportunity in favor of third persons relating to the acquisition, possession, holding, transfer and in general ownership of illicit goods that may be delivered for the reparation of victims (Article 13). On September 29, 2006 Decree 3391 of the Ministry of Interior and Justice was published, regulating portions of Law 975 of 2005.
 Among the parameters for interpretation established by the Constitutional Court were rules to protect victims' participation in the process, and to give them access to full reparations. The judgment also clarifies the obligation to enforce the reduced prison sentence stipulated therein and to introduce legal consequences, such as loss of benefits, if demobilized personnel claiming benefits under the law should withhold information from the judicial authorities. The judgment also made clear that paramilitary activity is a common crime. In short, demobilized personnel who committed crimes during the armed conflict and who apply for the benefits of Law 975 will have to cooperate with justice so that the rights of victims to the truth, to justice, to reparations, and to no repetition can be realized. Constitutional Court, Case D-6032, Judgment C-370/06, made public on July 13, 2006.
 See IACHR, Third Report on the Human Rights Situation in Colombia, of February 1999; Report on the Demobilization Process in Colombia of December 13, 2004; Statement of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Application and Scope of the Justice and Peace Law in Colombia, 2006. OEA/Ser/L/V/II. 125 Doc. 15, 1 August 2006. See also Chapter IV of the IACHR annual reports for the years 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
 OAS Permanent Council, Resolution CP/859 (1397/04), of February 6, 2004 "Support to the Peace Process in Colombia", operative paragraph 3. OEA/Ser. G CP/RES. 859 (1397/04) of 6 February 2004.
 The information was obtained from interviews with entities directly involved and from observations on the ground. The IACHR has monitored those aspects of the process that fall within its competence, through contacts with government entities, organizations and members of civil society in the course of field observations conducted in July 2004 (Bogotá and Medellín), February 2005 (Bogotá), June 2005 (Bogotá, Valledupar and Quibdó), December 2005 (Bogotá), February 2006 (Bogotá), March 2006 (Valledupar), April 2006 (Apartadó), May 2006 (Bogotá), January 2007 (Bogotá and Medellín), and April 2007 (Bogotá, Barranquilla and Medellín). In the course of all those visits the IACHR delegations enjoyed full cooperation from the government, the MAPP/OEA Mission and civil society, as well as from intergovernmental organizations with a presence in Colombia.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007.
 Additional observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45497/2475/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 5, 2007.
 IACHR Report Nº 71/05 Ever de Jesús Montero Mindiola and Report Nº 72/05 Juan Enenías Daza Carrillo, in IACHR Annual Report 2005. I/A Court H.R., Provisional Measures requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with respect to Colombia, Pueblo Indígena Kankuamo case, Resolution of July 5, 2004. On September 23, 2004 the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the leaders of the wayúu indigenous people in the department of La Guajira. On February 4, 2005, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of the members of the wiwa indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
 See Report Nº 86/06, Operation Genesis, in IACHR, Annual Report 2006. On December 17, 1997 the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of persons of African descent displaced by the military operation known as "Operation Genesis" in Bajo Atrato, Department of Chocó. See also Inter-American Court, provisional measures requested by the IACHR with respect to Colombia, for members of the communities of African descent of the Community Council of Jiguamiando and the families of Curbarado in the Municipality of Carmen del Darien, Department of Choco, Resolution of March 6, 2003.
 Jorge 40 has been accused inter alia of massacring indigenous people of wiwa and wayúu ethnic groups in 2004 and of killing eight persons in Curumaní in December 2005, in violation of a commitment to cease hostilities agreed upon with the Government, a matter for verification by the MAPP/OEA Mission.
 Given the great number of persons involved in the demobilization of this unit, estimated at 4,500 individuals, the High Commissioner for Peace and the leaders of the unit agreed to establish, in parallel, two special concentration zones in Chimila (Municipio del Copey) and La Mesa (Corregimiento de Valledupar), both in the Department of Cesar, to facilitate the concentration of persons to be demobilized.
 The delegation visited the "concentration zone" in “El Cuarenta” in the Municipio of Apartadó and observed the demobilization of 150 of the 484 members of the second group of that unit, who went through the judicial circuit.
 The "circuits" were conducted in the "temporary concentration zone" established for these purposes by resolution of the Ministry of Defense and of the Interior and Justice. The circuits began a few days before the formal act of demobilization and involved participation by a series of government institutions and international bodies. The officials present in the concentration zone were interviewed by the delegation during the visit for purposes of gathering information on the role of each entity, the methodology used, and the results obtained.
 On the scope and application of Law 782 of 2002, see IACHR, Report on the Demobilization Process in Colombia (2004), para. 62. Law 782 qualifies participation in unlawful armed groups in terms of committing the crime of concierto para delinquir ("criminal conspiracy"). The prosecutors involved in the demobilization reported that the qualification used in the no-prosecution resolution has been changed to that of "sedition", so as to make it equally applicable to members of paramilitary groups as well as to those of guerrilla groups seeking to join the demobilization process. See also Decree 4436 of December 11, 2006, regulating Law 782 of 2002.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 3.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 12.
 Data published by the High Commissioner for Peace on March 9, 2006 indicate that of the persons demobilized in Chimila, only 880 were members of the shock force and 1335 belonged to "social support fronts" in the departments of Atlantico, Magdalena and Cesar. Information from the High Commissioner for Peace, Reporte Desmovilización Primer Grupo de Integrantes del Bloque Norte de las Autodefensas. Bogotá, March 9, 2006. Available at the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.
 In total, there were 2215 demobilized persons in Chimila, of whom 880 were members of the shock forces and 1335 were members of the social support fronts active as producers in the departments of Atlantico, Magdalena and Cesar. Information available at the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.
 Information provided by the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.
 Information made public by the High Commissioner for Peace on April 30, 2006 shows that a total of 480 men and women were demobilized in El Cuarenta. Information from the High Commissioner for Peace, Reporte Desmovilización Primer Grupo de Integrantes del Bloque Norte de las Autodefensas. Bogotá, 30 April 2006. Available at the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.
 The ICBF was present only in the concentration zones where juveniles were included in the groups to be demobilized.
 Their status was recorded in the lists, and they were given color bracelets for identification purposes.
 The form for recording fingerprints from both hands includes information on the person's name; type and number of ID document; civil status and name of spouse; name of parents; date and place of birth; sex, age, RH and height; race, distinguishing between white, black, Oriental, mestizo and indigenous; address; occupation; and Social Security, together with a detailed description of complexion, skin, hair, eyes, beard or mustache, distinguishing features, and legal record. The dental card includes the following information: name; type and number of ID document; civil status and name of spouse; name of parents; date and place of birth; sex, age, RH and height; race, distinguishing between white, black, Oriental, mestizo and indigenous; address; occupation; and Social Security. CTI officials in the concentration zone expected that the information gathered in the circuit would be turned over to the Prosecutor’s Office for use in resolving cases of impersonation and recidivism. It should be noted that the CTI did not have specialized personnel in the circuits for gathering genetic material from demobilization candidates.
 The Seventh Quarterly Report of the Secretary General to the Permanent Council on the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS) indicates that in the identification and documentation process conducted during the judicial circuits, the MAPP/OAS Mission concluded that 26% of those demobilized did not give a voluntary statement. See OEA/Ser.G/CP/doc.4148/06 of August 30, 2006.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 13.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 14.
 The IACHR interviewed DAS officials in the La Mesa circuit to learn about the mechanisms for background checks and the outcomes in terms of identifying persons accused or convicted of crimes other than sedition, or of committing crimes not covered by the prosecution ban of Law 782 of 2002. When they were asked about the number of demobilized persons suspected, charged or convicted as perpetrators or participants in crimes as members of the armed unit participating in the demobilization, DAS officials told the delegation that of the roughly 200 people who had passed through their office between March 2 and 3, 2006 only three had police records of any kind.
 Article 10 of Law 975 of 2005, known as the "Justice and Peace Law", establishes the following requirements of eligibility for judicial benefits: the person must be a member of an illegal armed group that has been or may be suspected, accused or convicted of "atrocious acts of ferocity or barbarism, terrorism, kidnapping, genocide, and murder committed outside combat or placing the victim in a condition of defenselessness" (definitions of Law 782) committed while a member of these groups; appear on the list of demobilized personnel that the High Commissioner for Peace sends to the Prosecutor General's office; the group to which the person belongs must have demobilized according to the agreement with the Government; the assets gained from the illegal activity must have been surrendered; delivery of all recruited juveniles to the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare; the group must cease any interference in the free exercise of political rights and public freedoms and any other illegal activity; the group must not have been organized for drug trafficking or illicit enrichment; and all persons kidnapped and held by the group must be released.
 The problem of juveniles recruited by illegal armed groups and eventually turned over to the Government through demobilization of the unit to which they belonged was the subject of interviews with the ICBF and with the Justice and Peace Unit of the Prosecutor General's Office in Bogotá. On the situation of girls, see the IACHR report on "Violence and Discrimination against Women in the Armed Conflict in Colombia", OEA/Ser.L/V/II. Doc. 67, October 18, 2006.
 Information provided by the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, during the visit to the concentration zone of El Cuarenta, Municipio de Turbo, Department of Antioquia, between April 25 and 27, 2006.
 The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace provided a breakdown of the 615 long, short and support weapons surrendered: 346 rifles, 31 shotguns, 1 carbine, 3 submachine guns, 163 pistols, 33 revolvers, 5 machine guns, 17 grenade launchers and 16 mortars. In its observations the State identifies 625 weapons surrendered. Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 15.
 See High Commissioner for Peace, Reporte Balance de armas entregadas por integrantes del Bloque Élmer Cárdenas de las Autodefensas Campesinas. Bogotá, April 30, 2006. Available at the website of the office of the High Commissioner for Peace. The GIAT classified the surrendered materials as: 332 rifles, 4 machine guns, 3 pistols, 8 60 mm mortars, 7 40 mm grenade launchers and 5 40 mm MEL grenade launchers. The GIAT also counted 1207 grenades, 289,728 rounds of ammunition of different calibers, and 1121 suppliers.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: Initial Stages in the Demobilization of the AUC and First Judicial Proceedings”. Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 15.
 See Seventh Quarterly Report of the Secretary General to the Permanent Council on the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OEA), OEA/Ser.G/CP/doc.4148/06, August 30, 2006.
 The rest of the demobilized received a certificate indicating that they had no criminal record. See Seventh Quarterly Report of the Secretary General to the Permanent Council on the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OEA), OEA/Ser.G/CP/doc.4148/06, August 30, 2006, page 9.
 See Criminal Code (Law 100 of 1980) Title V, Crimes against Public Security. Chapter 1: Conspiracy, Terrorism and Instigation. Article 186 Conspiracy to commit crime (amended by Law 365 of 1997, Article 8): "When several persons conspire to commit crimes, each of them shall be punished for that fact alone, with prison sentences of three to six years. If they were active in the field or with weapons, the penalty shall be three to nine years. When the conspiracy is to commit crimes of terrorism, drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, or the formation of death squads, private vigilante groups, or assassination squads, the prison penalty shall be 10 to 15 years, plus a fine of 2000 to 50,000 times the legal minimum monthly wage. The penalty shall be doubled or tripled for those who organize, encourage, promote, direct, lead, constitute or finance conspiracy to commit crime".
 See Report on the Demobilization Process in Colombia, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.120 Doc. 60, of December 13, 2004.
 Law 418, December 26, 1997. Official Gazette 43201 of December 26, 1997.
 Decree 128 of January 22, 2003. Official Gazette 45073 of January 24, 2003. These rules established, among other things, that a stay of proceedings, a resolution precluding investigation or a resolution waiving prosecution may be granted in favor of those who confess and have been charged or prosecuted for political crimes and who have not been convicted in a final judgment, provided they agree to participate individually or collectively in a demobilization process.
 Article 62 of Law 418. However, Article 43 makes clear that these benefits will be null and void if the beneficiary commits any crime during the following two years.
 Article 13 of Decree 128 of 2003.
 Article 21 of Decree 128 of 2003.
 Information available at the website of the Prosecutor General's office: www.fiscalia.gov.co/justiciapaz/index.html.
 Observations of the Republic of Colombia to the “Report of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Implementation of the Justice and Peace Law: initial stages in demobilization of the AUC and first judicial proceedings.” Note DDH No. 45284/2465/07 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 4, 2007, page 10.