Herrera was commander of the Mobile Brigade 15 in Catatumbo, north east Colombia, and tries now to defend the legality of their actions in Soacha in front of the court.
“The pressure to show results was huge, particularly in Catatumbo where all the violence converges”, Herrera said. “The Army counted the bodies of guerrillas killed in combat to measure the success of the war.”
“If battalion commanders and brigades did not meet the expectations of the superior command, they were relieved”, he added to explain the pressure.
35 soldiers had been charged for the forced disappearance and
murder of eleven young men from Soacha to report them as guerrillas
killed in combat.