Ten “false positives” cases were among 232 people executed by the government without due process in 2013, a Colombian human rights organization has reported.
“575 recorded threats, 484 arbitrary detentions, 424 people injured, 81 cases of torture, and 232 extrajudicial executions.”
Colombia’s “false positives” scandal is centered around the extrajudicial killings of thousands of civilians by members of the armed forces who dressed their victims as guerrillas in order to present them as combat kills. The Colombian government of former President Alvaro Uribe denied the armed forces were killing civilians until late 2008, but the practice reached its peak during his reign (2002-2010).
FACTSHEET: False positives
The Center for Research and Popular Education (CINEP) released a report analyzing the human rights situation in Colombia, which revealed that there were ten “false positives” cases and nearly 2,000 human rights violations in the past year.
The ten victims included seven farmers, an indigenous person, a community leader, and a teacher.
According to the newspaper El Espectador, the victims included a teacher named Francisco Javier Ocampos, who was killed after being caught in the middle of a police confrontation, and then presented to the media as a member of the criminal gang, “Los Rastrojos”.
In regards to human rights violations, the CINEP report states that in 2013 there were, “575 recorded threats, 484 arbitrary detentions, 424 people injured, 81 cases of torture, and 232 extrajudicial executions,” reported Caracol Radio.
The report notes that state security forces were responsible for the majority of the violations, with, “579 cases attributed to members of the National Police Force, 294 to paramilitaries, and 207 to the National Army.”
What the practice of false positives did — be it intentionally or unintentionally — was inflate the apparent success of the government in its fight against left-wing guerrillas and right wing paramilitaries. In 2007 — the year most false positives were registered — more than one in five registered combat kills were in fact executed civilians.
In an July 2013 report, the Prosecutor General’s Office said it had found that the armed forces and civilian collaborators had killed 3,896 civilians since 1986.
- En el último año se registraron 10 víctimas de ‘falsos positivos’: Cinep (Caracol Radio)
- Revelan informe sobre “falsos positivos” en el 2013 (El Espectador)