Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office issued arrest warrants for seven soldiers, including a lieutenant, suspected of killing a farmer in the country’s northern Sucre department and presenting him as a rebel killed in combat.
The human rights department of the Prosecutor General’s Office alleges that the soldiers killed farmer Patricio Florez Severo in a rural zone of Sucre’s Carmen de Bolivar municipality in 2007. They then allegedly planted objects, including weapons on the body, to disguise him as a guerrilla.
According to the lawyer representing the deceased and his family, the soldiers involved were decorated and promoted following the incident.
Investigations by human rights coalition Coordination Colombia-Europa suggest that as many as 3,700 extrajudicial killings, defined as the murder of non-combatants by members of the security forces, took place in Colombia over the past seven years.
A report released by U.S. NGO the Fellowship of Reconciliation found an “alarming link” between Colombian military units that received U.S. funding and cases of false positives committed by those units.