Authorities from the central Colombian department of Cundinamarca on Friday announced the release of sixteen members of the national army who were being investigated for committing extrajudicial murder of a youth in the municipality of Soacha, reported Colombian media.
The sixteen soldiers, who are suspected of involvement in a national scandal surrounding extrajudicial killings known as “false positives,” included one sergeant, two corporals and twelve professional soldiers.
The soldiers are suspected of involvement in the disappearance of a young man from Soacha in 2008, who was kidnapped, murdered, and then reported as members of illegal armed groups killed in combat.
Lawyer Lorraine Leal explained to Caracol radio that the men were released on the grounds that the soldiers had not been granted a trial within the 200 day timeframe mandated by Colombian law.
The released soldiers will be held in the Artillery School, south of Bogota, whilst courts continue to compile cases against them.
Blanca Monroy, the mother of the false positive victim Julian Oviedo Monroy expressed outrage but not surprise at the outcome.
“It already happened to some soldiers so we imagined that it would be repeated, that they would release those responsible for the deaths of our children,” said Mrs Monroy.
Numerous other cases resembling this incident have been reported around the country, and Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is currently investigating some 1,200 similar cases.