The Colombian government on Thursday released a statement denying that perpetrators of extrajudicial killings known as “false positives” enjoy near-total impunity from justice, saying that the accusation “does not correspond to the truth,” reported Colombian media.
Colombia’s Foreign Ministry made the statement in response to a report released on Thursday by a United Nation investigator, which claims that around 98.5% of Colombia’s “false positives” killings, in which soldiers lure innocent civilians to rural areas in order to murder them and present them as guerrillas killed in combat, go unpunished.
However, according to the ministry, “to argue that there is a policy of impunity for these acts does not correspond to reality.”
The statement argues that the Supreme Court is currently investigating 42,233 cases of extrajudicial killings by members of the army, 230 of which are in the process of being charged, and adds that the UN report ignores the Colombian government’s contributions and reactions, which were sent to its author before its publication.
The original report, written by investigator Philip Alston, warns that the number of “false positives” cases that are met with impunity is “way too high.” Although Alston contradicts allegations that the killings were part of government policy, he says that they were not isolated incidents.
The report supports previous allegations that personal profit and other incentives were often the reason behind the false positives killings by military personnel.
The Colombian government will release an official response to the report on June 3.