Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos admits the United States
cut aid to Colombian army units suspected of killing civilians after
initially denying it. He hopes the measures taken by the government will persuade the U.S. to resume the aid.
The Minister had earlier stated “it was a misinterpretation of something that was said in Washington”, but was forced to withdraw that statement after the U.S. embassy sent a press statement saying the United States in deed cut aid to the army units suspected of human rights violations.
The Minister now claims that U.S. ambassador Michael Brownfield says he was misinformed when the Minister talked to him Thursday.
Santos hopes the U.S. will resume aid after being convinced of the measures taken by the Colombian government to curb the human rights violations by its army.
The three army units are suspected of having kidnapped and murdered eleven persons from Soacha. The eleven appeared later in mass graves in the north east of Colombia and had been registered as combat kills by the army.
the Colombian army and government are under increasing pressure from human rights organizations, the United Nations and now the United States to improve their human rights record.
Colombia’s prosecution is investigating more than 1,000 murders on civilians allegedly committed by members of Colombia’s security forces.