Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged the army
has registered dead civilians as guerrillas killed in combat, but says
the FARC is behind a number of these extrajudicial executions.
According to the minister, the murders are committed by guerrillas in order of FARC commander ‘Mono Jojoy’ to make it look as if the army did it, newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
“There are enemies of the Democratic Security who not only want to attack it, but to discredit the security forces,” Santos said, adding that it was a “perverse assertion” to state that the army has paid soldiers bonuses for every combat kill.
Santos told the senators there are less cases of extrajudicial killings than have appeared in media and refuses to resign. “We are not going to behead the one who is trying to solve the problems,” he said.
Santos was called to appear before the Senate to explain the widening scandal concerning extrajudicial executions of innocent civilians and registering their deaths as combat kills to make the army look more effective.
Army chief general Mario Montoya resigned earlier Tuesday amid growing pressure on the armed forces and accusations of gross human rights violations. Colombia’s prosecution announced it is
investigating more than a 1,000 cases of possible ‘falsos positivos’,
the murdering of civilians and reporting them as guerrillas killed in
combat to make the army look more successful in their battle against
The UN has called the killings widespread and systematic.