Colombia’s leftist opposition on Wednesday asked the government to remove eight generals over their alleged roles in the extrajudicial execution of Colombian civilians.
Representative Alirio Uribe of the leftist Democratic Pole party, presented his request in a debate Wednesday that was postponed over supposed agenda issues in the chamber.
The politician tweeted out a video containing information about was he says are the top eight generals who have been implicated in the scandal known as “false positives.”
The scandal is centered around the extrajudicial killings of thousands of civilians by members of the armed forces who dressed their victims as guerrillas in order to present them as combat kills.
FACT SHEET: False positives
Some of the generals Uribe seeks to have removed from their posts have as many as 100 cases of false positives that occurred in units under their command. Included in his list is the current General Commander of the Armed Forces, the Command of the Army, and the head of the advisory board in Washington on the topic of human rights.
For their part, the army has said it categorically rejects the “slanderous” accusations made by Uribe.
“We have faith in the wisdom, fairness, and objectivity of the Colombian justice system. We do not accept writings that only seek to delegitimize the institution, creating confusion and disinformation in Colombian society,” and army communique read.
According to the army, none of the generals has been investigated by the justice system for their alleged involvement in the false positives.
The statement said that the armed forces respect the “constitutional and legal order that sustains” Colombia’s democracy, though more than 500 hundreds members of the armed forces have already been convicted of participating in the mass murder described by Uribe. Not one general has been convicted.
Coupled with Uribe’s requests regarding the generals are efforts to stop a military justice reform that would put the investigation and prosecution of individuals involved in the scandal under the jurisdiction of military courts.
The United Nations and international human rights groups have denounced the attempts to expand military jurisdiction as a recipe for impunity in an already slow-moving judicial process.
So far, nearly 5,000 state agents, including members of the military and police, have been implicated in the extrajudicial executions. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, some 742 individuals have been convicted.
The Colombian government attempted to increase the jurisdiction of military courts back in 2012, but was eventually thrown out by the Constitutional Court the following year.
So far, more than 4,000 Colombian civilians have been identified as victims of the extrajudicial executions committed by police and military forces.
- Acusaciones de Alirio Uribe buscan deslegitimar Fuerza Pública: Ejército (Caracol Radio)
- Comunicado de Prensa (Ejercito Nacional de Colombia)