Nine members of Colombia’s military have been arrested for alleged “false positive” killings of three farmers in a central region of the country.
The men involved are reported to be active duty soldiers in the National Army, according to a report by Radio Santa Fe. The allegations hold that the nine soldiers were responsible for the murders of three farmers who they reported to superiors as “guerrillas killed in combat.”
The incident took place in November, 2006.
The “false positives” scandal is centered around the extrajudicial killings of thousands of civilians by members of the armed forces who dressed their victims as guerrillas in order to present them as combat kills. Soldiers were discreetly offered bounties for the dead bodies of guerrilla fighters. In thousands of cases, soldiers murdered innocent civilians and redressed them in guerrilla uniforms to collect the reward for a “positive” kill.
According to a report from the Attorney General’s Office, the men were members of Counterinsurgency Battalion No. 84, part of the Mobile Brigade 12 and the greater Fourth Army Division. The three farmers disappeared after approaching the soldiers, intending to report the disappearance of a livestock herd in the village of Santo Domingo in the Meta Department.
The nine soldiers will be tried on charges of murder and disappearance of protected persons.