Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez handed down a 20-year ban to six members of the army for the extrajudicial killing of two citizens who were subsequently dressed up as FARC guerrillas. The ban disqualifies the men from holding public office for two decades.
The six soldiers were ordered to neutralize FARC’s presence in the department of Boyaca. The military initially claimed that two rebels were killed in the Aquitania municipality of Boyaca, 160 miles north of Bogota.
A later investigation revealed, however, that these deaths were not the result of combat. Rather they were, “arbitrary [and] contrary to the duties of protecting life that [govern] security forces.”
Ordoñez claimed that the six soldiers violated, “international humanitarian law…culminating in the death of two civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities.”
The case is the latest episode in what is known as “false positives“. The scandal, which was revealed in 2008 during the administration of Alvaro Uribe, refers to a number of cases where the army killed innocent civilians and then posthumously presented them as guerrillas to improve military statistics.
In late August, the Prosecutor General’s Office released a report declaring that it had found 2,997 cases of false positives.