The Colombian state was ordered to pay reparation for non-existent victims in three massacres, a pro-military advocacy group said Thursday.
According to Military Defense, a non-governmental group that offers legal assistance to members of the Colombian military, there were non-existent victims in the 1998 air force bombing of the village of Santo Domingo in which officially 17 people were killed and 27 were injured. Also in the massacres in Trujillo, Valle del Cauca — where according to official figures 342 people were killed by paramilitary forces between 1988 and 1994 — the numbers were inflated and money meant for victims never made it past their defense lawyers.
The NGO announced it will present a report on these massacres and that of Mapiripan for which Colombia was sentenced to pay compensation to 49 victims while according to the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office only 10 people were killed and in some cases families falsely claimed to be victim in order to receive compensation.
In all three cases, the victims of the massacres were represented by the Jose Alvear Restrepo lawyer collective, an internationally renowned group of Colombian human rights lawyers.
Responding to the revelation of fake victims of the Mapiripan massacre, the lawyer’s collective said it acted “in good faith” and reiterated that the perpetrators of the massacres confirmed the initial number of victims.
The revalations of the alleged massacre fraud comes just before the Colombian state has to appear before the IACHR to respond for the Santo Domingo massacre.