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Five Colombian soldiers charged with ‘false positive’ murder of teenagers

posted by Aylish O'Driscoll

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military justice

Five Colombian Army soldiers were charged on Monday with the “false positive” murder of two teenage boys in March 2011, according to Colombian news sources.

An international humanitarian law and human rights prosecutor announced Monday that murder charges have officially been brought against Captain Diego Fernando Giraldo, Sargent Marco Tulio Gonzalez, and soldiers Pedro Pascual Villegas, Jose David Lopez and Diego Luis Ruiz, for the murder of two teenage boys in March last year, who were then presented as guerrillas killed in combat.

The events occurred between March 22 and 23, when troops of the anti-guerrilla battalion no.42 reported the deaths of two suspected insurgents during fighting in the village of Palmeros, in the central Colombian department of Meta.

However investigations concluded that no armed clash had taken place, and that the victims presented as guerrillas were in fact local farmers Yeiler Andres Cubides and Jose David Baquero, 15 and 16-years-old respectively.

The five accused have been charged with kidnapping and murder, while Giraldo and Gonzales face further charges of falsifying public documents.

The incident represents yet another case in the false positives scandal that has rocked the Colombian Army, in which innocent civilians were murdered then reported as rebels killed in combat, and for which hundreds of members of the Colombian armed forces are being investigated.

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