A circuit judge sentenced one officer and seven soldiers each to 60 years in prison on Wednesday for the murder of four farmers in Antioquia.
In March 2006, the soldiers pulled the men from their homes and shot them in their backs before dressing them up as guerrillas. The judge gave them the maximum sentence for their crimes.
The murders are part of an ongoing investigation into “false positive” killings, a scandal in which members of the Colombian military kill civilians and pose them as members of guerrilla groups killed in combat to increase their reported kill counts.
Convictions for false positive murders have become increasingly frequent. On June 30, seven members of the military were found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering three civilians. On Tuesday, an army major was indicted for the false positive killings of 11 people.