30 soldiers suspended in southwest Colombia over homicide

Colombia’s army commander confirmed on Tuesday that 30 soldiers have been suspended for their alleged participation in the killing of a farmer in the southwest of the country.

The killing took place in Cauca, a conflict-ridden state in the southwest of Colombia, where a 27-year old man was killed at an Army checkpoint on Sunday.

An Army colonel told local newspaper El Universal that the Army has asked for “ballistic tests to check for weapons fired. The Army wants full transparency and clarity, and supports the judicial authorities to clarify these facts. In the event that charges have been filed, the full weight of the law will fall on these soldiers, “said the official.

The victim’s sister explained the alleged homicide to local reporters.

“They were coming and the Army made them stop, detained them and then let them go. Later they began shooting and my brother fell.. More than 50 shots were fired and they shouted ‘We are the Army’.”

“We want to see justice, we want to know why they did it,” the sister was quoted as saying in local newspapers.

The Army confirmed the victim had arrived at the army checkpoint on a motorcycle and called his death a “military error”.

According to prosecutors, the victim was traveling with another man when they encountered the Army checkpoint. After the soldiers indicated the motorcycle could continue, they opened fire, killing the 27-year old.

The Ombudsman sent a commission to Cauca to accompany the family and monitor internal control procedures being conducted by the Army.

The soldiers’ guns have been sent to a lab for a technical inspection. Meanwhile, the Army’s Inspector General is questioning the military with lie detector tests.


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