Colombia’s house of representatives filed a motion to fire the defense minister on Monday after the minister was caught lying about the murder of an ex-FARC guerrilla.
Defense Minister Guillermo Botero on multiple occasions defended the murder of the ex-guerrilla Dimar Torres by a soldier last week, but was contradicted by the regional army commander who apologized for the murder.
The motion of no confidence has 24 signatures, five more than required by law.
Apart from rejecting Botero’s persistent attempts to cover up the murder, the lawmakers also denounce the disciplinary action taken by Botero against General Luis Villegas, apparently for apologizing for the murder on behalf of the army.
Villegas personally traveled to the Catatumbo region in Northeastern Colombia to ask forgiveness for the “killing of a member of the community” by one of his subordinates Monday.
In compliance with his duties, the defense minister had to wait for a legal opinion or a detailed statement from the Prosecutor General’s Office not to lie to the country or public opinion with his statements.
Lawmakers’ motion of no confidence
Torres’ neighbors in Convention caught the military unit that murdered the former guerrilla red-handed while the soldiers were digging a shallow grave close to the lifeless and tortured body of the demobilized FARC member. According to forensic prosecutors, the demobilized guerrilla’s private parts had been cut off and his skull had been crushed.
Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez said that the soldier who admitted to having killed Torres would be charged with homicide.
Unlike the minister, Villegas has submitted to the war crimes tribunal and could go to prison if the transitional justice system finds he has continued to commit crimes against humanity after the 2016 peace deal.
Botero is the second minister in Duque’s administration to receive a motion of no confidence, after lawmakers unsuccessfully filed a motion against Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla last year.