Colombian military recognized 'false positives' before the JEP

Colombian military recognized ‘false positives’ before the JEP

In the same population of Colombia where they committed their crimes in the 2000s, ten military retired began to recognize, this Tuesday, April 26, before the families of the victims, the cold-blooded execution of 100 civilians who presented themselves as guerrillas who fell in combat.

In the unprecedented two-day hearing, organized by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Ocana, In the department of Norte de Santander, on the border with Venezuela, the uniformed officers publicly confessed their responsibility for the disappearance and subsequent murder of 120 young people, most of them poor.

(See: The Attorney General’s Office asks to overturn the reform that suspended the Law of Guarantees).

Some 50 relatives of the victims entered a university theater in this town in a row displaying photographs of their relatives. On stage, they sat face to face in front of their perpetrators and five magistrates of the court that emerged from the historic peace agreement of 2016.

Until this Wednesday, April 27, the stories of a general, four colonels, five officers and a civilian who collaborated in the crimes.

I ask you to clear the name of our relatives, they were peasant workers, not as they were branded as subversives, guerrillas, thugs“, claimed Eduvina Becerra, partner of José Ortega, a farmer who lived about 300 kilometers from Ocaña before he was killed.

His lawyers, UN and OAS delegates, and dozens of people remained silent before the macabre story during the hearing.

The colonel Ruben Castro recognized the existence of ainside criminal gang“of his men”created for the sole purpose of increasing“the downs to”how would it take place“.

The former commander of the XV Mobile Brigade apologized for having demanded the murder of “good people“.

known as ‘false positives’, the murders of civilians presented as guerrillas fallen in combat are the biggest scandal in the history of the Colombian Armed Forces.

(See: Duke’s balance of the works in Providencia: ‘We are complying’).

The former soldiers and other perpetrators of the prolonged Colombian conflict answer to the JEP for their crimes as part of the peace agreement that disarmed the extinct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2017.

Those who confess their crimes and make amends to the victims will receive alternative sentences to prison.

SYSTEMATIC PRACTICE

Amid the tears of the victims, the defendants gave names and details about how they murdered their relatives, most of them men between 25 and 35 years old.

The general Paulino Coronado, former commander of the 30th Brigade who is present on the border line, is the highest-ranking uniformed officer to appear at the historic two-day hearing.

During his exercise, the ten defendants gave orders “without which the criminal conduct would not have taken place in a systematic and widespread manner“, said in her speech the Justice Catalina Diaz.

(See: Colombia, among the economies that would grow the most in 2022 in Latam).

The JEP determined that Ocaña was the scene of an atrocious practice devised in a barracks located at the entrance of the town of some 100,000 inhabitants, and motivated by a “institutional policy of the Army of body count” to inflate their achievements in the fight against the guerrillas and other armed groups.

The Army was deceiving us, they killed our companions, brothers, sons“, alleged Sandra Barbosa, Javier Peñuela’s sister, whom they wanted to pass off as ELN guerrilla.

Relatives of victims of ‘false positives’.

AFP

The peace court identified two forms of ‘false positives’: One consisted of taking deceived young people to populations far from their homes and then killing them. In the second, the victims were peasants held by force in Ocaña and other municipalities in the region of Catatumbo, which has the largest number of drug crops in the world.

According to the testimony of inhabitants of Ocaña known to the agency AFP, the Army constantly boasted about its supposed success and the town’s morgue was not enough to receive the corpses.

(See: Could strict covid lockdowns return to Colombia?).

In exchange for the homicides, the military received awards, permits, decorations and promotions, Judge Diaz detailed.

According to the court, more than 6,400 civilians were executed between 2002 and 2008, of which 402 died in this border area.

Colonel Castro acknowledged having transmitted to his subordinates the “policies” from “the different echelons of command“, pointing to the then commander of the Army, General Mario Montoya, from whom the requirement to show casualties “it was always repetitive“.

Montoya has also submitted to the JEP since 2018 without accepting any responsibility.

The peace court judges the worst crimes of the half-century conflict that left more than nine million victims among dead, mutilated, kidnapped and disappeared.

The magistrates of the JEP will determine the ex-military sentences, after analyzing their testimonies and contrasting them with their investigations.

The victims will have 15 days to express themselves about the current hearings and then the sentences will be known, reported the justice of the peace.

Much of the ‘false positives’ occurred during the presidency of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), who maintains that these were isolated acts.

In 2021, the JEP charged former Farc commanders for the kidnapping of at least 21,000 people.

The rebel leadership must also make a public recognition.

AFP

Source link

Previous Story

Cuban government highlights “a trend towards gradual recovery” of tourism

Latest from Colombia