Colombia’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, former army commander Mario Montoya, has resigned, several local media reported Friday.
According to RCN Radio, the controversial former military handed in his resignation a month ago, but was asked to stay on until mid-August by Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
Montoya is being investigated for his alleged involvement in the fake demobilization of members of illegal armed groups, ties to demobilized paramilitary organization AUC and is widely criticized for the extrajudicial killings of approximately 2,000 civilians while he was in charge of the army.
It was the breaking of this “false positives” scandal, in which the murdered civilians were presented as guerrillas killed in combat to inflate the apparent effectiveness of the armed forces, that forced the general to resign in 2008.
Following his resignation from the army, former President Alvaro Uribe appointed him ambassador to Santo Domingo.
The ambassador’s resignation was spurred on by members of Colombia’s opposition party, the Polo Alternativo Demacratico (PDA).
“The government cannot allow the diplomatic service to become a service of impunity, keeping ambassadors and consuls seriously questioned for links with paramilitary groups or human rights violations such as Montoya,” PDA representative and victims of state violence leader Ivan Cepeda told weekly Semana. “That would be para-diplomacy.”
Montoya has denied the allegations against him, claiming that “their sole purpose is to cause me harm both professionally and personally.”