Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said this weekend that members of the army who commit “false positives” killings do not receive “a single penny as reward” from the government, reported Caracol Radio on Monday.
The president spoke strongly against the extrajudicial killings – a scandal in which members of the army were found to have murdered civilians and reported the deaths to authorities as guerrillas killed in action, in return for financial compensation – and said that claims that the Colombian government was rewarding these killings were incorrect.
“It is said that false positives come about because of rewards by the government. There is not a single penny of reward payed in the case of false positives. This is ensured by the National Comptroller’s Office,” said Uribe.
The Colombian president spoke in reference to the most recent suspected case of “false positives” killings in the department of North Santander, where an anonymous witness accused members of the national army of being involved in drug-trafficking and of committing extrajudicial killings to disguise their illegal activity.
The government has said that the false positives stopped more than a year ago, a claim disputed last week by a Colombian research group.