Practice Relating to Rule 155. Defence of Superior Orders
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) states:
Under the terms of Chapter IX of the First Geneva Convention relative to the repression of abuses and infractions, IHL establishes the principle of individual responsibility, that is to say, that acting pursuant to superior orders does not relieve the person of his responsibility for the grave breaches he may commit.
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
According to criminal responsibility, a person can be held responsible:
d. For acts committed when determining the punishable offence – for example, by giving an order – in which case the determinator and the person executing the order, in other words the material executor, are held responsible [footnote: “In this case, the subordinate is also held criminally responsible, because due obedience to this type of order cannot be argued unless there is insurmountable external coercion].
In relation to the international responsibility of individuals, the International Criminal Court can hold every individual responsible for the commission of crimes, once the procedural phases have been completed, when it has been established that the person has committed any of the crimes contained in the  Rome Statute, namely:
(ii) war crimes;
(iii) crimes against humanity;
(iv) crime of aggression, when it is defined.
In fact, the ICC Statute establishes the ways in which a person can be held responsible[.]
[footnotes in original omitted]
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states: “The order of a superior does not exempt the person who … carries out the order from individual criminal responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law.”
In 1997, in reply to a report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on Torture, the Colombian Government referred to its decision to present to Congress the reform of the military criminal justice system beginning in March 1997. As to the defence of obedience to superior orders, it stated that it “could only be invoked when the act was the result of a legitimate order and did not infringe fundamental rights”.