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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

False positives were ‘government policy,’ says commission

BOGOTÁ ( Associated Press) — The Truth Commission in Colombia, in charge of preparing a report on what has happened in more than five decades of internal conflict, revealed on Tuesday that one of its conclusions points to the extrajudicial executions at the hands of the military known as “false positives” were war crimes and crimes against humanity that “were committed as part of government policy.”

The “false positives” reached more than 6,402 victims in Colombia, especially between 2002 and 2008, when President Álvaro Uribe Vélez ruled. This is the conclusion of the Truth Commission, an extrajudicial body, and the Peace Court, both created after the signing of the peace agreement between the State and the extinct guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) five years ago. .

Uribe Vélez, who has always denied having instructed the military to kill young people and peasants to pass them off as guerrillas, reported on Tuesday that he will denounce the Truth Commission, considering that his statements are irresponsible and biased.

“From the first day of government, transparency was a fundamental concern on my part,” the former president, who has been one of the strongest critics of the peace agreement with the FARC, wrote on Twitter.

The Truth Commission, in the voice of its commissioner Alejandro Valencia, concluded after studying more than 1,000 interviews with victims, ex-soldiers, experts and reports that there was a “system” of legal provisions such as laws and directives issued by the Armed Forces, and other extralegal ones such as the orders from the high command, which although they were not written in the regulations, in practice they occurred “with a degree of frequency that accounts for their institutionalization.”

In addition, the Commission indicated that the crimes were financed with fraudulent actions in which there was “embezzlement of State funds” in the hands of the military and civilians who participated in the events. “Goods such as weapons, ammunition or equipment were supplied to paramilitary groups, used as currency to strengthen the bond of these illegal armed structures and plan casualties, under the simulation of combat,” added Commissioner Valencia.

The statements were given at a meeting in which some ex-soldiers acknowledged their responsibility and apologized to relatives of victims of extrajudicial executions. The ex-military have agreed to reveal the truth in exchange for receiving legal benefits that may include not paying jail time.

“I want to make it clear that none of his children belonged to any criminal structure. They were all innocent. What I did should never have happened and it is not easy to recognize and tell the truth,” said retired Sergeant Sandro Pérez.

Flor Hernández, mother of Elkin Hernández, replied to Pérez and asked him to give more details about her son’s crime because “the truth is missing.” “Who shot him? Who was the one who did the montage for my son? You say it was the superiors, speak up, don’t give yourself up on your own.”

Hernández is part of the Madres de Soacha, an organization made up of relatives who demand justice for extrajudicial executions and were the first to denounce them during the Uribe government.

World Nation News Desk
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