In only four days the families of 46 people found out their loved ones had been killed by the army, while the families had reported them missing, Colombian magazine Semana reported Friday.
If the forced disappearances in Bogota, Soacha and the coffee region are to blame to the army it would be a serious blow for the Colombian Government, that already is put under a U.S. microscope because of the desired free trade agreement with the U.S.
Some of the parents of the young people that ended up on the army’s guerrilla body count, say their children never came back from meeting someone about work. The disappeared ended up found in mass graves almost 500 miles from their homes and were registered as being killed in combat by the army.
Further investigation on the corpses however showed the people were killed only one or two days after their disappearance. Too soon to possibly enroll in any armed group and be killed in combat.
By Friday, 46 people that had earlier being reported as guerrillas killed in combat proved in fact to be on missing persons lists.
If the logical suspicion is correct that the army is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of these 46 people only to report a larger number of killed subversives, it would be a massive and systematic violation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a gross violation of human rights.
Paradoxically, the army recently officially launched an extensive campaign to exterminate human rights violations by its troops. the highest boss of the Armed Forces general Freddy Padilla de Léon even said to comply with human rights is a strategic need to win the war.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos announced to investigate the deaths and the possible military responsibility.
“There is a strange situation here, one that requires a lot of explaining,” Santos said in a speech to military cadets. “I am told that there are still officers in our public security forces who require dead bodies as proof of results.”
President Alvaro Uribe — who volunteered to personally present Colombian human rights records to the UN on December 10 — will have the difficult job to explain whether the Army as a whole is massively and systematically violating human rights or individual soldiers are responsible for the forced disappearances.