The “Mothers of Soacha,” a group representing relatives of Colombian civilians killed by the army, on Tuesday began a tour of Europe to gather support for their demand for justice, reports Finanzas.
Soacha is a region close to Bogota, where a number of young men were taken and murdered by the army in the most high-profile case of “false positives” killings. The term refers to the extrajudicial killing of civilians by members of the army, who then report the dead as criminals killed in combat in order to boost kill counts.
Luz Marina Bernal is a representative of the “Mothers of Soacha,” whose 26-year-old son, Fair Leonardo Porras, who had a mental disability, was killed by the army in January 2008. He was later accused of being a narco-terrorist and belonging to a criminal group.
“He didn’t know how to read nor to write, and neither could he identify the value of money,” said Bernal, who explains that it is her duty as mother to find the truth about what happened to her son. Bernal demands that the 27 military personnel who are allegedly responsible for the killings in Soacha are found guilty.
According to Amnesty International, the mothers have been threatened in order to silence their campaign for justice. Other relatives of the false positives in Soacha have been intimidated and have received threats.
“If one day we manage to achieve justice in Soacha, we can keep fighting to reach it in other cases as well,” Bernal stated.
Members of the army are currently on trial for the murders in Soacha.