Three Colombian army soldiers were charged Tuesday with the “false positive” murder of four farmers, who were sho and dressed as guerrillas to up the soldiers’ enemy kill count.
The sergeant and two soldiers allegedly committed the quadruple murder on March 22, 2006, in a rural part of the Pitalito, in the central Colombian department of Huila.
A human rights prosecutor announced the formal charges of homicide against the three members of the armed forces, based on inconsistencies between the collected evidence and the testimony given by the soldiers.
The dead men were reported by the soldiers to have been guerrillas killed during training, however postmortem tests showed no gunshot residue on their hands, and that their weapons were unfit to shoot.
According to figures from Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office late last year, over 1,598 members of the armed forces have thus far been investigated in false positive cases.
The three men are being held in custody following the announcement of the charges.