Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos confirmed Friday another eleven
members of the army were sacked for the extrajudicial killings of
civilians from Soacha. 25 officials were sacked in the same case
in October 2008 already.
The officials are suspected of being involved in the forced disappearing and murder of eleven young men from Soacha. The victims were later found in mass graves in the north east of Colombia and had been reported as members of illegal armed groups killed in combat.
The fired officers belonged to the La Popa battalion serving in the
northern province of Cesar, which rights groups had previously accused
of civilian killings, newspaper El Tiempo said.
The Soacha case led to the sacking of 25 army officials, including three generals. The scandal forced the Colombian Government to admit its armed forces had been murdering civilians to make their war against illegal armed groups look more effective. More than a thousand members are being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office for similar extrajudicial executions of innocent civilians.
Santos assured Caracol Radio that human rights violations like these now belong to the past.