Colombia army officers and ex-policeman jailed for arms trafficking, linked to false positive colonel

Four non-commissioned Army officers, a soldier, an ex-policeman and a civilian were sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday for selling arms to guerrilla groups.

All seven of the accused pled guilty in a Medellin court for their involvement in an arms trafficking ring led by disgraced former Colonel Robinson Javier Gonzalez, currently serving a reduced sentence for the murders of over 70 civilians in a “false positives”scandal, according to Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

A court in Medellin accepted guilty pleas in exchange for reduced sentences from army sergeants Juan Pablo Laguna Medina, Carlos Fernando Borda Garzon, Alexander Sanchez Puerta, and Gerardo Marquez Guerrero; soldier Silva Rincon; and ex-policeman Nestor Wilson Pinto.

According to the investigation by Colombia’s National  Organized Crime Unit, under direction from Gonzalez the criminal group sold long-distance weapons and explosives to Guerrilla groups Farc, bloque Martires de Cordoba de las autodefensas Gaitanistas, and the so-called Clan Usaga from 2010 until their arrest this year.

A further embarrassment for the Colombian military forces is that the weapons were transported in the vehicle of a high ranking military official.

MORE: 15 members of Colombia military now wanted for arms trafficking

Gonzalez was sentenced to seven years in prison this July for a string of offenses including arms trafficking and embezzlement, but most notably his major role in the false positive scandal which has rocked the country.

False positives refer to civilians who were murdered and disguised as rebel combatants in order to boost kill statistics, a practice that peaked during the administration.

MORE: Fact sheet: False positives 

Gonzalez is also one of the major players in an army embezzlement case that surfaced this year, after investigations revealed that active and imprisoned military commanders have been embezzling millions of dollars from Colombia’s defense budget.

MORE:  Colombia’s military discredited further, now accused of embezzlement.


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