Colombia’s chief prosecutor said Thursday he will increase the number of prosecutors investigating the murders of some 3,000 civilians by the armed forces, warning that “poor results” made so far could lead to an intervention of the International Criminal Court.
According to Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre, his office will no longer investigate the so-called “false positives” cases individually, but as “systematic crimes.”
“If we don’t do so, we are heading towards impunity and run the risk of an intervention of the Criminal Court,” Montealegre told newspaper El Tiempo.
“We are taking far-reaching measures to avoid a resounding failure of justice in the case of false postives,” a term dubbed to describe the killing of civilians who were then dressed up as guerrillas and presented as combat kills.
The office of the Prosecutor General has been investigating the killing of 2,984 civilians since late 2008 when the practice was admitted by the government of then-President Alvaro Uribe. According to Colombia’s prosecution office, 216 members of the armed forces were sentenced until June while 1,882 had been charged until then.