Colombian presidential candidate Antanas Mockus says President Alvaro Uribe and rival candidate Juan Manuel Santos had “moral,” but not “criminal” responsibility for the “false positives” murders of civilians by the army, reports El Espectador.
Speaking to foreign journalists in the week leading up to the presidential elections on Sunday, Mockus saw Colombia’s extrajudicial executions as a “tragic case of an incentive [based] system,” referring to the benefits given to soldiers who produced favorable results.
“I share the horror and the outrage,” Mockus said of the false positives, adding that it was “an extreme expression of the shortcut.”
When the Green Party candidate was asked of his views on ending Colombia’s 40-year conflict, Mockus said that it was necessary to “change the behavior of the people, to find their good side, and build on it.”
The term “false positives” refers to extrajudicial killings where army personel allegedly recruited young men from poor communities, transported them to remote parts of Colombia to be executed, and finally presented the cadavers as guerrillas killed in action.
The issue has turned into the largest scandal of the Uribe government, and on Monday a Colombian human rights coalition reported that over 3,700 extrajudicial killings, including cases of false positives, have been recorded since Uribe came to power.
A week earlier theInternationaI Criminal Court (ICC) requested access to all reports released in Colombia that pertain to extrajudicial killings, although it was not directly processing any “false positives” cases at the time.