Practice Relating to Rule 2. Violence Aimed at Spreading Terror among the Civilian Population
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that the civilian population shall not be terrorized.
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on “anyone who, during an armed conflict, carries out or orders the carrying out of … acts or threats of violence whose primary purpose is to terrorize the civilian population”.
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The principle of distinction is complex and encompasses a number of treaty and customary norms applicable in internal armed conflicts, in addition to, in many cases, enjoying ius cogens
status. These rules [include] … the prohibition to take actions the primary purpose of which is to cause terror among the civilian population.