Practice Relating to Rule 160. Statutes of Limitation
Under Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), the period of limitation for penal action with regard to genocide, forced disappearance, torture and forced displacement is 30 years.
In 2009, in the Constitutional Case No. C-801/09, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court was called upon to decide on the constitutionality of the 2002 ICC Elements of Crimes, the 2002 ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the corresponding domestic law approving them. Regarding the non-applicability of statutes of limitation to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC as provided for in the 1998 ICC Statute, the Court stated:
2.2.13. …[I]n the … Case No. C-578 of 2002, the [Constitutional] Court identified the articles of the  Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court that contain different treatment to that provided for in the  Political Constitution, recognizing that, in any case, these were expressly authorized by Legislative Act No. 2 of 2001, as long as it is understood that their effects are limited exclusively within the scope of the said Statute.
The Court thus found the existence of different treatment in the following articles [of the Rome Statute]:
3. Article 29, which establishes the non-applicability of statutes of limitation to those crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. According to this Court, this article provides for a treatment different from the one provided for in article 28 of the Political Constitution, which prohibits the application in Colombia of penalties and security measures that are not subject to statutes of limitation. This can only be applied by the International Criminal Court in exercising its complementary jurisdiction for the investigation and prosecution of any of the crimes provided for under the Statute … As mentioned in the judgment, this is a special treatment expressly authorised … through Legislative Act No. 2 of 2001 regarding the complementary jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, as the current Constitution does not authorize the application in Colombia of penalties and security measures that are not subject to statutes of limitation.
2.2.14. [I]n the section corresponding to the conclusions of Case C-578 of 2002, the Court reiterated that “the different treatment in substantive matters was authorized by Legislative Act No. 2 of 2001 exclusively within the scope of the exercise of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction” and, therefore, it “does not diminish the scope of the guarantees provided for under the Constitution with regard to the exercise of the jurisdiction of the national authorities”.
[emphasis in original]
In 2010, in the El Iguano case
, the Justice and Peace Chamber of Colombia’s High District Court of Bogotá convicted a member of the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) of several crimes committed against the civilian population. The Court stated that “war crimes and crimes against humanity are international crimes; they are not subject to statutes of limitation”.