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Colombian army commits ‘extrajudicial execution': Indigenous community

posted by Olle Ohlsen Pettersson

False positive

A Colombian indigenous community released on Tuesday a video which allegedly showed the aftermath of an extrajudicial killing by the military.

The video, first published on the site of Confidencial Colombia, allegedly showed members of the Colombian army surrounding the naked corpse of 30-year-old Luis Alberto Cunda, a member of the Nasa people in the southwestern Cauca department.

The indigenous community said the video provided proof that the army intentionally falsely claimed Cunda was a FARC guerrilla killed in combat, as part of a plan to artificially boost their guerrilla kill counts, popularly known as a “false positive” killing.

The army insisted however that Cunda was a member of the FARC’s Gabriel Galvis column who engaged in a firefight before being shot dead.

“The combat took place outside of the house, the terrorist left running, in combat he was initially wounded…and then he fell”, said army General Jorge Humberto Jerez to TV station Noticias UNO.

The victim’s neighbors were skeptical of the military’s account, saying it would not be logical for a FARC guerrilla to fight without clothes. They went on to point out that Cunda’s body showed signs of physical abuse.

Human rights NGO Francisco Isias Cifuentes, claimed soldiers arrived at Cunda’s house at 5:50AM and shot him. “Later the military group caught the wounded man (…) and dragged him more or less 70 meters from his home. People in the region said they could hear the young man’s screams for help.”

The NGO also said that if not for the swift action of the community, the military would have officially presented the victim as a FARC guerrilla killed in combat without protest.

Extrajudicial executions have been an increasingly insidious issue in Colombia since the first revelations of the so-called false positives-scandal in 2008, in which more than 2,000 cases of alleged murders committed with the aim of inflating army success rates against guerrillas are being investigated.

About the author

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Olle Ohlsen Pettersson is a Swedish journalist specialized in the armed conflict, public order and crime. He studied at Stockholm University.

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