A Colombian colonel has apologized to the families of two young men killed by the military after being ordered to do so by military command, Colombia Reports tells us. The murders were part of an ongoing scandal in Colombia that took part over the past two decades, known as the "false positives." From Colombia Reports:
The two youths, 17 and 21 years old, were shot and killed by army personnel as the two left a party on January 8, 2006. The youths were later reported as guerrillas soldiers killed in combat, part of an ongoing practice known as "false positives," in which dead civilians are reported as enemy combatants in order to increase army kill rates and or cover up crimes.
I'm going to repeat that. They took young men from their homes or other locations, transported them elsewhere, killed them and then dressed them up like guerrillas so that they could meet army quotas, get promotions and get vacation time.
A few weeks ago, a former colonel confessed to carrying out 50 extra-judicial murders. In a previous case discussed here by the BBC, a traveling soccer team was killed and dressed up like guerrillas, as well.
In another incident unveiled in 2009, "poor, young men had been recruited from the slums of Bogota, promised well-paying jobs in the province of Norte de Santander, then murdered in cold blood and presented by the army as having been killed in combat."
There currently 1500 alleged victims of the false positives scandal. Fun fact: current President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos was defense minister during this time. And America has poured billions of dollars into the Colombian military over the past 15 years.
[article via Colombia Reports, pic via AP]