The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) court found that at least 6,402 civilians had been murdered by armed forces in Columbia between 2002 and 2008.
The Columbian military claimed that the deaths were from combat but according to the JEP, they were in fact extrajudicial executions.
The findings were from the “false positives” scandal between the Colombian military and The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC).
A tribunal was started after the two parties entered a peace deal in 2016.
The said victims were labeled as left-wing “rebel guerrillas” despite being innocent citizens.
The Colombian public prosecutor’s office had acknowledged only 2,249 executions of civilians between 1988 and 2014, most of which were done in 2006 and 2008, under former president Alvaro Uribe’s regime.
Uribe has denied any killings while General Mario Montoya, who was the army commander at the time claimed that there was no order issued and that the 2,140 military personnel currently under investigation are less than one percent of active units at that time.
According to the FARC, the Colombian Military conducted false-positive operations to boost its kill rate and give the impression it was winning the armed conflict against them.
In 2008, a false positive operation was conducted in Soacha, near Bogotá, where 19 died.
The relatives of the victims in Soacha showed evidence that they were not part of armed organizations and that they were killed for no reason.
Most of the killings reportedly took place in the northwestern Antioquia region where soldiers and right-wing paramilitaries such as the AUC fought with left-wing rebels.
The JEP said that 73 percent of the deaths between 2000 and 2013 happened in the area.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.