The Colombian government submitted evidence of “false victims” of the 1997 Mapiripan massacre to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday, reported local media.
The government headed by Juan Manuel Santos wishes to amend the IACHR’s 2005 verdict which ordered Colombia to pay $8 million in compensation to the families of 49 supposed victims of the 1997 massacre, during which paramilitaries slaughtered villagers with chainsaws and machetes, leaving bodies strewn around the streets and more than 70 people missing. Many of the bodies were chopped up and disposed of in a river, making it impossible to determine the exact death toll.
The government stated that it gave the commission a “solid body of evidence to support the amendment of the judgements set forth in the ruling.” The commission found that many of those reported murdered were still alive or died in unrelated circumstances and concluded that approximately 30 of the original victims were false.
The government said that it does not deny “the very unfortunate occurrence of the Mapiripan massacre or the responsibility of Colombia in the same, yet the State requested that, following the sentence review, it repeal certain statements and sentences ordered by the Commission.”