Règle correspondante
Colombia
Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives
Colombia’s Military Manual (1999) states:
Objects that are normally of a civilian nature can, according to the military situation, become military objectives (for example, a house, a bridge tactically used by defenders, and therefore a target for the attackers). … Military objectives are those “objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offer a definite military advantage”. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, pp. 16 and 17.
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Only those objects and persons which by their nature, location, purpose or use effectively contribute to the military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage, can be considered as military objectives.
It is necessary to make a non-exhaustive list of persons and objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use can be considered as military objectives, as long as they represent an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage:
- By its nature: Who or what? An objective can be attacked because of what it is. …
- By its location: Where is it? An objective can be attacked because of where it is located. …
- By its use: What use is made of it? An objective can be attacked because of the damage it causes or has caused. …
- By its purpose: What purpose can it serve? An objective can be attacked because of the risks [posed] by the purpose for which it can be used. This includes all objects for which there is absolute certainty that in the future they will be used against the armed forces and whose neutralization represents in any case a clear military advantage. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 56–57.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The manual also states:
3. Minimum contents of operational orders
c. Execution
The description of the execution of the operation must include the Commander’s operational concept. Within these sections, the following contents, depending on the operation[,] … should be included:
(i) For operations in a hostilities scenario:
If the operation is carried out in a situation of hostilities, i.e. if the planning can be done within the IHL framework, the section on execution must also include:
- Definition of the military objective: Provide a precise and complete description of the objective (objects or persons), assessing why its nature, location, purpose or use contributes effectively to the military action.
4. Rules of engagement
c. Definitions
(i) Definitions for rules of engagement for land combat …
- Military objective: An object which by its nature, location, purpose or use makes an effective contribution to the military action or whose partial or total destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 100–101, 103 and 107–108.
The manual further states:
If the operation is carried out to counter a situation of hostilities, meaning that the planning can be done within the IHL framework, the OLA [Operational Legal Adviser] must advise the Commander in describing:
- The definition of the military objective: Make a precise and complete description of the objective (objects and/or persons), assessing how their nature, location, purpose or use contributes effectively to the military action. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, p. 145.
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:
234. … The principle of distinction imposes on the parties to a conflict the obligation to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives. In this regard, the Constitutional Court stated:
235. “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. This principle obliges the parties to a conflict to make an effort to distinguish between military objectives and civilian objects. … [M]ilitary objectives … are those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose partial or total destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.” 
Colombia, High District Court of Bogotá, El Iguano case, Judgment, 2 December 2010, §§ 234–235.
[footnote in original omitted]
The Report on the Practice of Colombia notes that the government and the Defensoría del Pueblo (Ombudsman’s Office) have adopted the definition of military objectives laid down in Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I in order to draw a distinction between military objectives and civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.3, referring to Defensoría del Pueblo, Cuarto informe anual del defensor del pueblo al congreso de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, September 1997, pp. 64–65.
According to Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999), combatants are military objectives. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 15.
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Only those objects and persons which by their nature, location, purpose or use effectively contribute to the military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage, can be considered as military objectives.
It is necessary to make a non-exhaustive list of persons and objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use can be considered as military objectives, as long as they represent an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage:
- By its nature: Who or what? An objective can be attacked because of what it is. This includes persons who are members of organized armed groups (performing a “continuous combat function”) and persons taking a direct part in hostilities[.] 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, p. 56.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Only those objects and persons which by their nature, location, purpose or use effectively contribute to the military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage, can be considered as military objectives.
It is necessary to make a non-exhaustive list of persons and objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use can be considered as military objectives, as long as they represent an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage:
- By its nature: Who or what? An objective can be attacked because of what it is. This includes … objects such as armoured vehicles, weapons, aircraft and combat helicopters, among others. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, p. 56.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Only those objects and persons which by their nature, location, purpose or use effectively contribute to the military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage, can be considered as military objectives.
It is necessary to make a non-exhaustive list of persons and objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use can be considered as military objectives, as long as they represent an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage:
- By its purpose: What purpose can it serve? An objective can be attacked because of the risks [posed] by the purpose for which it can be used. This includes all objects for which there is absolute certainty that in the future they will be used against the armed forces and whose neutralization represents in any case a clear military advantage. This includes … information satellites[.] 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 56–57.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Only those objects and persons which by their nature, location, purpose or use effectively contribute to the military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization offers, in the circumstances ruling at the time, a definite military advantage, can be considered as military objectives.
It is necessary to make a non-exhaustive list of persons and objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use can be considered as military objectives, as long as they represent an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage:
- By its nature: Who or what? An objective can be attacked because of what it is. This includes … objects such as armoured vehicles, weapons, aircraft and combat helicopters, among others.
- By its location: Where is it? An objective can be attacked because of where it is located. This includes, among others, bridges, roads or highways that serve as the enemy’s main routes, as well as civilian vehicles or vessels inside the camp of an illegal armed group.
- By its use: What use is made of it? An objective can be attacked because of the damage it causes or has caused. This includes, for example, civilian vehicles, aircraft or vessels carrying materials for the adversary, as long as they are an integral part of a specific hostile act.
- By its purpose: What purpose can it serve? An objective can be attacked because of the risks [posed] by the purpose for which it can be used. This includes all objects for which there is absolute certainty that in the future they will be used against the armed forces and whose neutralization represents in any case a clear military advantage. Some examples include … commercial aircraft, vessels and straight stretches of highway, among others. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 56–57.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states that “a military objective remains a military objective even if civilians are inside it. Civilians within or in the immediate vicinity of a military objective share the risk to which the objective is exposed.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 18.