the miami herald

Colombian rape case clouded by U.S. soldier's immunity

Sept 03--Despite an arrest order, a case that involves the rape of a 12-year-old girl on a Colombian military base remains in limbo.

The U.S. government has made little effort to investigate a U.S. army sergeant and a Mexican civil contractor implicated in Colombia in the raping of a 12-year-old girl in August 2007, according to an El Nuevo Herald investigation.

The suspects, Sgt. Michael Coen and contractor César Ruiz, were taken out of Colombia under diplomatic immunity, and do not face criminal charges in the United States in the rape in a room at Colombia's Germán Olano Air Force Base in Melgar, 62 miles west of Bogotá.

U.S. diplomats, as well as military personnel and civilian contractors working in Colombia, are covered by diplomatic immunity as part of an agreement between the two countries.
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