The Colombian Council of State on Tuesday ruled that one army captain and two sergeants convicted of committing “false positive” killings must pay back the money they received as payment for the assassinations, reported Colombian media.
The high court found the soldiers guilty of the murder of six citizens in Belmira, Antioquia, and ruled that they had to pay a compensation amount of COP290 million ($184,000) to the families of the victims.
“It is not acceptable that employees of the state seek justification for acting like agents … of extrajudicial killing, just in order to show off results related to the internal conflict,” said court magistrate Enrique Gil Botero.
Courts also sentenced two of the soldiers to 28 years imprisonment and the other to eight years.
This case is part of a larger, nation-wide scandal known as “false positives,” in which hundreds of soldiers are accused of kidnapping and murdering civilians, and reporting them as members of illegally armed groups, in order to be able to report higher numbers of enemy combatants killed and thus to gain benefits.