A Colombian army major is accused of taking part in the murder of 11 youths and falsely presenting them as guerrillas killed in battle, local media reported Tuesday.
Ex-Colonel Luis Fernando Borja, the former commander of a task force based in the northern coastal department of Sucre, accused Major Orlando Arturo Cepedes of killing the young people in 2007.
Borja, who has himself admitted to 50 extra-judicial killings, told a group of judges in Bogota that Cepedes was directly responsible for murdering civilians then recording them as guerrilla deaths — a practice known as “false positive” killing.
Cepedes has claimed he carried out only administrative tasks while under Borja’s command. Borja said, “I don’t know if what he’s referring to as administrative work is finding victims and the arms to kill them, as that is what he did.”
According to a UN study released last month, extrajudical killings remain common in Colombia. A Colombian NGO claims to have evidence of false positive killings, carried out by the army in order to cover up criminal activity and artificially boost combat kill rates, that happened as recently as June last year.
Borja assumed command of the Sucre Joint Task Force in 2007 and is currently serving a 97 year sentence for false positive murders.
According to the Prosecutor General, soldiers under his command committed numerous murders and reported them as combat casualties.