A report released on Thursday by a United Nations investigator on extrajudicial killings finds that the perpetrators of the extrajudicial killings in Colombia known as “false positives” enjoy near total impunity from justice.
According to Philip Alston, the U.N. investigator, about 98.5 percent of the “false positives” killings, in which soldiers lure innocent civilians to rural areas in order to murder them and present them as guerillas killed in combat, go unpunished.
This near total impunity, Alston warned on, “is way too high.”
Alston highlighted that these extrajudicial killings have been going on during the past decade, and number between a few hundred and 2000.
According to the report, the number of “false positives” killings grew substantially in 2004, but have been reduced since the government took steps to curb them starting in 2007.
Alston denied the allegations that the killings were part of governmental policy, but also denied that they were isolated incidents.
“There have been too many killings of a similar nature to characterize them as isolated incidents carried out by individual rogue soldiers or units,” he explained.
The report also backed up previous allegations that personal profit and other incentives were often the reason behind the false positives killings by military personnel.
The report will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 3.
Last week, the human rights coalition Coordination Colombia-Europa reported that since 1994, there have been 3,796 cases of extrajudicial killings, of which 3,084 were recorded since the implementation of President Uribe’s hardline “democratic security” policy.