Soldiers get 20 year ban for murdering a civilian

Three soldiers have been disqualified from military service for 20 years for the extrajudicial killing of a civilian, reported El Espectador Thursday.

The patrol report stated, the unidentified victim “was not hiding in the bushes, did not attack the troops from a protected position, and was not in a group,” which brought the conclusion from the Attorney General’s office that the victim could not rightfully be mistaken for a fighter in an illegal armed group and in fact was a “false positive.”

The incident ocurred in 2005 in the village of Los Vallejuelos, in the central Antioquia Department.

The three soldiers involved, Daladier Ochoa Ramirez, Diego Lopez Velasquez and Jhon Jairo Guarin Giraldo, were found guilty of “serious violations of international humanitarian law by attacking civilians and acting contrary to the life and physical integrity of an unidentified person.”

The three soldiers will now face criminal proceedings for the crime.

According to the United Nations, some 3,000 civilians have been killed by Colombian soldiers, dressed up as guerrillas and presented as combat kills to increase to apparent effectiveness of the Colombian state’s fight against guerrilla groups.

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