|War Crimes Tribunal Asks Colombia for Info|
BOGOTA, Colombia - The International Criminal Court has asked Colombia for information on alleged atrocities committed by armed groups to determine whether the tribunal should investigate further.
The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, but it says it will only step in when states are unwilling or unable to dispense justice.
The tribunal made its request in a letter to President Alvaro Uribe's administration, and came amid claims from human rights and victims' support groups that atrocities are being carried out with impunity in this Andean nation.
"The information received so far indicates thousands of people have been killed, disappeared, kidnapped and forcibly displaced since Nov. 1, 2002," said Luis Moreno, an Argentine who is the court's chief prosecutor.
Colombian Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt said the government intends to fully cooperate with the court and provide all available information.
Colombia is embroiled in 40-year-old civil war pitting two leftist rebel armies against a handful of right-wing paramilitary factions and government forces, killing more than 3,000 people every year. All sides have been blamed for abuses.
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