The Peace Tribunal charged 10 Colombian soldiers with murdering at least 120 civilians and falsely claiming that they were fighters.
The Colombian court charged 10 soldiers and a civilian with forcibly missing 24 people, murdering at least 120 civilians, and falsely describing them as soldiers killed in battle.
This is the first time that the Bogotá’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) Tribunal has accused military members of participating “False positive” scandal.
JEP is investigating crimes and atrocities committed during the half-century of armed conflict in the country, Reigned earlier this year The Colombian military carried out at least 6,400 extrajudicial executions between 2002 and 2008 and classified them as combat deaths.
The court said on Tuesday that the defendant played a decisive role in the murders described as fighting deaths in the Catatumbo district of Santander Norte Province, Colombia from January 2007 to August 2008.
Today comes from the situation in Bogota: The Colombian Peace Tribunal accused 10 soldiers of murdering 120 civilians in 2007 and 2008. This is the first time a court has charged a soldier. @ACOSTALUISJAIME https://t.co/SiQMyfxgY1
-Julia Symmes Cobb (@JSymmesCobb) July 6, 2021
The JEP identified as the person responsible for issuing orders. Without these orders, the crime would not happen systematically. The defendants included a general, six officers, three non-commissioned officers and a civilian.
“This is a macro-crime model, that is, in the same area, the same group of people associated with criminal organizations and following the same modus operandi have repeated at least 120 murders in two years,” Magistrate Catalina Diaz said. Tuesday.
The court was established under the 2016 peace agreement to prosecute former members of the FARC rebel organization and Colombian military leaders for war crimes.
Dozens of military officers were detained and convicted by the Colombian regular court system for their involvement in the murder, and testified before JEP when seeking a more lenient sentence.
Eduardo Cifuentes, the magistrate and JEP chairman, said that if the defendants do not accept the charges within 30 days on Tuesday, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison in a civil court.
According to the New York Times, Human Rights Watch’s Colombian researcher Juan Pappier called the court’s announcement “a defense for the victims and human rights organizations who have been fighting for justice in this case for more than a decade.”
For many years, human rights organizations have believed that the practice of soldiers killing civilians and mistakenly treating civilians as enemy combatants is more common than the Colombian government has recognized.
A 2018 report compiled from official sources and independent research estimated that more than 10,000 civilians were murdered during the presidency of former President Alvaro Uribe.
Although the highest military command denies System policy Because the so-called “false positives” exaggerated the number of left-wing insurgents killed, soldiers and officials told the court that their superiors pressured them to raise the surface of the success of government military operations during the civil war.