Posts Tagged ‘false positives’

After removal of Petro, Colombians question attorney general’s intentions and power

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Attorney general is accused of persecuting leftists while sparing the Right

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for December 14, 2013. See original here.]

((Gustavo Petro -- Opera Mundi photo))

((Gustavo Petro — Opera Mundi photo))

by Simone Bruno

“And in spite of it, I am the mayor of Bogotá,” Gustavo Petro shouted during his speech, perhaps the last during his tenure, to thousands of supporters in the Plaza de Bolívar, in the center of the Colombian capital. On Monday, December 9, the attorney general of the nation, who is in charge of conducting administrative trials of public servants, removed him from office and made him ineligible for public office for the next 15 years.

Only two years earlier, the former member of M-19, an urban guerrilla force originating in the 1970s, won the election for the most important position in the capital, the second most important in the country, after the presidency. In his speech, Petro recounted the history of the violence the Left of Colombia has been subjected to in the past few decades, from the extermination of the Unión Patriótica, the party born of a peace accord with the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrillas, when more than 5,000 people were assassinated in seven years, up to the homicides and attacks on former members of M-19 after they signed the peace accord and returned to civilian life. (more…)

International team confirms mass grave in Colombia with at least 2,000 bodies

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Deaths attributed to army and paramilitaries

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 24, 2010,  based on dispatches from Agence France Presse and Notimex.]

Bogotá, July 23 –In a public hearing on Friday with residents of La Macarena, in the department of Meta, a delegation from the United States and Europe confirmed the existence of a mass grave containing some 2,000 unidentified bodies whose deaths they attribute to rightist paramilitaries and the Colombian army.

The delegation was headed by six Members of the European Parliament (MEP), who denounced that “the army is killing its own people.” Ana Gómez, an MEP in the Commission on Human Rights, said the grave is an abnormality she cannot understand, since the armed forces exist to protect the people and not to act against them.

“They’re not there to kill the people; there is a horrible perversion in these acts in which innocent youths, men and women, area taken by members of the armed forces who turn them into false positives and are rewarded for it,” she said in reference to civilians who are executed extrajudicially and displayed as guerrillas killed in battle. (more…)

Colombia: “False Positives” scandal weighs heavily on presidential candidate Santos

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Military killed between 2,000 and 3,000 youths, claiming they were rebels

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for June 16, 2010.]

By Blanche Petrich

Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia, June 15 – A 21-year-old man who said he was “addicted to video games” joined a Colombian prosecutor’s witness-protection program in the trial over the extrajudicial executions of 13 young men from Soacha, a suburb of the capital. He confessed to the judges that for every man he “contacted” he collected 300,000 pesos (a little more than 150 dollars). Los Paisas, a bar with a bad reputation, was his center of operations.

The recruits, Alexander Carreteros and John Jairo Muñoz, now in jail, received twice that much for transporting the deceived youths, considered human merchandise, to the vicinity of the 15th infantry batallion in the city of Ocaña, in the department of Santander, 800 kilometers away. A 20-hour trip by bus. (more…)