A Colombian Army Colonel has apologized to the families of two Colombian young people killed by his military unit, said local media Monday.
Colonel Fernando Lopez Colmenares, under orders from military command, apologized to the families of Hortensia Neyid Tunja and Manuel Antonio Tao Pilinmue.
The two youths, 17 and 21 years old, were shot and killed by army personnel as the two left a party on January 8, 2006. The youths were later reported as guerrillas soldiers killed in combat, part of an allegedly ongoing practice known as “false positives,” in which dead civilians are reported as enemy combatants in order to increase army kill rates and or cover up crimes.
During the ceremony Lopez said, “The sense of humanity brings us to face this community, and with firm conviction recognize the errors and ask forgiveness of these brave people.”
After a mass for the two dead youths Lopez gave their families a bouquet of flowers as a symbol of apology.