A former army official was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in prison for the “false positive” killing of three civilians in northern Colombia in 2007, reported newspaper El Espectador.
A judge from the department of Cordoba ruled that Lieutenant Carlos Sarmiento co-directed the assassination of three civilians in the Puerto Libertador municipality and later presented them as guerrilla fighters killed while trying to kidnap a rancher in 2007.
A companion of the three killed civilians managed to escape the gunfire and later reported to the local Prosecutor General that the men were ambushed by soldiers.
Additionally, the judge sentenced two other officials and five soldiers involved in the false positive killing each to 31 years and six months in prison.
The term “false positive” refers to a scandal in which some members of the armed forces were revealed to have murdered civilians and dressed them in guerrilla uniforms to increase kill counts.