Règle correspondante
Colombia
Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section A. The principle of distinction
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) states: “The Parties to the conflict must at all times make a distinction between civilians and combatants in order to protect the civilian population and civilian objects.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 7.
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides for the obligation “to distinguish between combatants and the civilian population”. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, pp. 48–49.
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states:
In view of the new circumstances and modalities of the criminal acts of illegal armed groups which operate more and more frequently disguised as civilians, the armed forces must undertake all possible efforts to distinguish the civilian population and to protect the civilian population in all circumstances. 
Colombia, Directive No. 10, 2007, § IV.
In 2004, in the Constitutional Case No. C-037/04, the Criminal Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated that according to “the principle of distinction … parties to a conflict must distinguish between combatants and non-combatants (the civilian population), as the latter cannot be the object of attack”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-037/04, Judgment of 27 January 2004, pp. 35–36.
In 2006, in the Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, the First Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[W]ith regard to the conduct of hostilities, it is important to note that IHL is ruled by fundamental principles, such as the principles of distinction, limitation and proportionality. Indeed, … the principle of distinction imposes on weapon bearers the obligation to distinguish in their military actions between combatants and non-combatants. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, Judgment of 7 March 2006, pp. 7–8
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[T]he essential principles of international humanitarian law have acquired ius cogens status, based on the fact that the international community as a whole has recognized their peremptory and imperative nature … Among the essential principles of international humanitarian law with ius cogens status applicable in internal armed conflicts … [is] … the principle of distinction. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 70.
The Court further held: “The principle of distinction, one of the cornerstones of international humanitarian law, flows directly from the obligation to protect the civilian population from the effects of war, as in times of armed conflict it is only acceptable to weaken the enemy’s military potential.” 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 70.
(footnote in original omitted)
The Court also held:
The general duty to distinguish between civilians and combatants is an essential duty binding the parties to any non-international armed conflict to differentiate at all times between civilians and combatants in order to protect civilians and their property. Indeed, parties to a conflict are bound to make every effort to distinguish between military objectives and civilians … This rule is found in international treaties applicable in internal armed conflicts and is binding on Colombia. It forms part of customary international humanitarian law and has attained ius cogens status. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 78.
[footnote in original omitted]
The Court further found that “the principle [of distinction] … is … customary international law applicable in both internal and international armed conflicts”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 78–79.