Medellin‘s Superior Court reverses guilty sentences for 10 soldiers convicted of murdering civilians and disguising the bodies as combatants, in the first such reversal Thursday, reported Colombian media.
Ten officials from the Army’s 4th Brigade had been sentenced to 30 years in prison after they were found guilty in a “false positives” murder in Medellin. The case concerned the death of Duberney Galeano Mira on June 6, 2002.
The military troops had given a version of the murder that indicated that the death of the Mira was a result of combat. The military officials had asserted that Mira was a member of the ELN guerrilla group and had confronted the troops with an AK-47 gun. However, testimonies indicated that the military officers had kidnapped Mira and later abandoned the dead body, according to Colombian newspaper El Espectador.
Regardless, the ten officials have been cleansed of the false positives charges.
Over 2,000 false positive cases are currently being investigated by the Colombian authorities, with around 500 military members linked to such killings.
False positive murders have allegedly been a tactic employed by both the police and military in Colombia to inflate their statistics of the numbers of guerrillas killed in combat.