Two Colombian soldiers have received 20 years in prison for the “false positive” murder of a farmer in 2007, local media reported.
The prosecuting judge found soldiers Victor Alfonso Vargas Gomez and Andres Horacio Builes guilty of murdering an innocent peasant and presenting him as a guerrilla soldier on February 26, 2007 in Yarumal, Antioquia department.
During the course of the trial, the Prosecutor General proved that the murder took place in an area away from where the actual fighting between soldiers and rebels occurred. The Technical Investigation Team (CTI) of the Prosecutor General’s Office also demonstrated that the crime scene was manipulated by the perpetrators.
The soldiers have been moved to a Medellin, Antioquia prison, where they will serve the 20 year sentence.
“False positive” murders have allegedly been a tactic employed by both the police and military in Colombia to inflate statistics of the numbers of guerrillas killed in combat.
Over 2,000 “false positive” cases are currently being investigated by Colombian authorities, with around 500 military personnel linked to such killings.