Colombia’s Inspector General has barred Army Lieutenant Nader Guzman Diaz from military service for 20 years for killing a civilian and reporting him as a guerrilla who died in combat, reported local media.
According to an investigation carried out by the Inspector General’s office, Diaz’s unit, Artillery Battalion No.4, lied in a statement about the death of an unidentified civilian.
The battalion had claimed the man died in a gun fight after soldiers were fired on by a guerrilla group, but it was later discovered he was not involved in the combat.
Forensic evidence revealed that the gun supposedly used to fire upon the battalion was damaged and inoperable, and that the lethal shot had been delivered at point blank range.
Diaz, as commanding officer, was deemed liable for disciplinary action.
The “false positives” scandal — a term used to describe the Colombian Army killing civilians and then passing them off as guerrillas to artificially boost their success rate — was first uncovered in 2008, and incidents continue to be reported.
More than 3,000 cases are now being investigated by the Prosecutor General.