Colombia’s Prosecutor General is investigating 1,296 cases of ‘false
positives’, murders committed by members of the armed forces to make
them appear as guerrillas killed in combat, Defense Minister Juan
Manuel Santos admitted Thursday.
The Minister did not say how many members of the armed forces were investigated for these murders.
The false positives scandal affected the aid Colombia’s military has been receiving from foreign countries. The United States froze tens of thousands of dollars ofaid that was earmarked for Colombian military aid and also the United Kingdom withdraw 700,000 in military aid, deputy-Minister Sergio Jamarillo admitted Wednesday.
While appearing before Congress, the minister endured severe criticism from the opposition, especially because nine new cases of extrajudicial executions have appeared that were committed after the Government officially ackbowleged the problem and vowed it was in teh past.
“We are facing crimes against humanity, systematic, massive and structural crimes,” Liberal party senator Juan Manuel Galán said suring the session.
The opposition senator advised the government that if it wasn’t capable of properly investigating the scandal itself, it should hand it over to the International Criminal Court.
Santos doubted the newly investigated cases are real and asked the opposition not to seek political gain in the scandal. He repeated that “there are people that want to inflate the numbers, make the problem bigger, without taking into account how it is hurting the institutions.”