A judge in the northeast of Colombian has absolved eight soldiers who had been accused of murdering civilians in order to present them as guerrillas killed in combat, the local army commander saif Friday.
According to the commander of the 5th Brigade, the Bucaramanga city court ruled that there was no evidence to prove the two men killed by members of the military were civilians.
The soldiers, who were suspended when the prosecution began their alleged involvement in the killings, will be reintegrated in the 5th Brigade.
Local media did not report whether the prosecution planned to appeal the court decision.
The soldiers were eight of approximately 1,880 members of the security forces investigating for the extrajudicial execution of civilians, a practice which in Colombia became known as “false positives.”
Courts throughout the country are investigating the death of 3,000 victims of false positives killings. So far, approximately 240 members of the security forces have been convicted for murdering approximately 530 civilians.
The massive killing of civilians by the security forces forced former President Alvaro Uribe and his then-Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos to purge the military command while civilian courts were given jurisdiction over alleged “false positives” cases previously handled by military tribunals.