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Colombia’s Army and Defense Minister Ask Forgiveness for Extrajudicial Executions

Colombia’s defense minister and the country’s army commander asked forgiveness for the assassinations of 19 men from the city of Soacha, who were falsely presented as guerrillas killed in combat between 2007 and 2008.

The public apology on behalf of the Colombian State and its security forces sought to comply with a court ruling that ordered this in 2015.

President Gustavo Petro also asked forgiveness to the group of victims who played a key role in ending the mass killing of civilians by the army in what became known as the “false positives” scandal.

According to war crimes tribunal JEP, at least 6,402 people were executed and presented as guerrillas killed in combat between 2002 and 2008.

Members of victims organization Mothers of Colombia’s False Positives (Mafapo) stressed that they wanted to hear apologies from former presidents Juan Manuel Santos and Alvaro Uribe, who were responsible for the military during the Soacha executions.

I want to remind the minister that he was no part of this when they took our children. It is Juan Manuel Santos who should be here to face the music and ask us for forgiveness… And Uribe, they are the ones who should be here right now.

Flor Lida Hernandez

None of the Soacha victims’ family members were willing to immediately accept the public apology or stop fighting for justice for the thousands of victims of army war crimes.

This act is for all the mothers and relatives of the more than 6,402 victims of extrajudicial executions. We will continue to fight until we know who gave the order to commit these crimes.

Mafapo president Jacqueline Castillo

The mother of Jaime Estiven Valencia, who was supposed to receive the apologies, was unable to attend the ceremony as death threats forced her into exile.

The ceremony was held as the JEP continues to investigate the false positive scandal, which seeks to sanction those considered responsible for the army’s mass human rights violations.

Source : Colombia Reports