Nearly 800 cases relating to the killing of civilians by members of the armed forces will not be processed due to a revised definition by the Inspector General, newspaper El Tiempo reported Monday.
Colombia’s so-called “false positives” scandal refers to the extrajudicial killings of thousands of civilians by members of the armed forces who dressed their victims as guerrillas in order to present them as combat kills.
On account of a legal interpretation by Colombia’s Inspector General, which handles disciplinary matters of state employees, the number of “false positives” investigations from 2009 has dropped from 1,274 to 492.
According to El Tiempo, the number of cases to be investigated differs significantly from the figures Inspector General’s office submitted to the UN in September 2009.
At the time, there were 1,274 records for the suspicious deaths of 1,386 people.
The new guidelines offered up by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez means that nearly around 800 cases will now be regarded as “deaths in combat” and referred to internal military investigators.
The latest revelations come on the heels of comments by Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre, whose office administers criminal prosecutions, warning that poor handling of “false positves” cases could lead to intervention by the International Criminal Court (ICC). “If we don’t improve, we walk toward impunity and run the risk of intervention by the ICC,” he said.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, some 3,000 Colombians have been killed by members of the armed forces since 1985.