Colombian prosecutors are investigating 3,473 state agents for “false positives,” – the extrajudicial execution of civilians to present as guerrillas killed in combat – the country’s prosecutor general said Monday.
According to Colombian media, Prosecutor General Viviane Morales said, “the Human Rights Unit [of the Prosecutor General’s Office] has been assigned 8,295 cases [of human rights violations], of which 1,598 regard homicides committed by state agents. At this moment 3,473 state agents are being prosecuted; 1,489 have been indicted and 1,411 are in jail.”
Morales added that 315 state agents have been convicted for human rights violations, reported RCN Radio.
The “false positives” scandal broke in 2008 when men who had disappeared from Soacha, a town south of Bogota, were found in a mass grave near the Venezuelan border. It was discovered the men had been registered by the army as guerrillas killed in combat.
After further investigation, prosecutors found that more than 2,000 Colombians had been executed and dressed up as guerrillas by members of the security forces to inflate the military’s claims to success in the fight against illegal armed groups and to allow army personnel to claim rewards.