Courtroom mail History:Remembering the horrifying massacre of Supreme Court Judges 30 years ago

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On the 6th of November 1985,the Supreme court of Colombia was preparing to deliver the opinion of the Court in regard to the constitutionality of the Extradition Treaty between Colombia and the United States.

At about  11:35am,the members of M-19 guerrilla group stormed the court and took everyone hostage include twenty five Justices of the court. On seizing the court, they demanded that President Belisario Betancur come to the Palace of Justice in order to stand trial and negotiate. The president refused.

The following day,the Colombian military led an operation to retake the building which led to about 100 casualities. The M-19 members did not go down without burning several important documents relating to high profile cases and personalities. The siege is one of the deadliest in Columbia in its fight with the rebel group.

Twelve Judges were killed

  1. Manuel Gaona Cruz
  2. Alfonso Reyes Echandía
  3. Fabio Calderón Botero
  4. Dario Velásquez Gaviria
  5. Eduardo Gnecco Correa
  6. Carlos Medellín Forero
  7. Ricardo Medina Moyano
  8. Alfonso Patiño Rosselli
  9. Horacio Montoya Gil
  10. Pedro Elías Serrano Abadía
  11. Fanny González Franco
  12. Dante Luis Fiorillo Porras

One year after the siege, the treaty was declared unconstitutional.

The agitation about missing people who were taken alive from the building but disappeared thereafter under suspicious circumstances still leaves a black spot on the incident.The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled  condemning the state for the disappearance of 12 people, most of them cafeteria workers, who were taken alive from the building by the army during the 48-hour standoff.

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