Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat
Section B. Specific categories of persons hors de combat
Colombia’s Circular on the Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who surrenders.”
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on anyone who, during an armed conflict, commits acts aimed at leaving no survivors or at killing the wounded and sick.
In a case against the State relative to the takeover of the Palacio de Justicia by guerrillas in 1985, a Colombian administrative court cited a document of the Colombian Ministry of Defence stating that a commander should “respect the life of the enemy who offers to surrender”.
In 2010, in its Directive No. 11 providing guidance for judicial attorneys and disciplinary officials regarding the crime of murder of protected persons, Colombia’s Attorney General stated:
[The] passive subject [of the crime of murder of protected persons is] any person who has the status of protected person. Article 135 [of Colombia’s Criminal Code], in accordance with international humanitarian law, considers as protected persons … the wounded, sick and shipwrecked who are hors de combat
, … [and] combatants who have laid down their arms.