Ten retired members of Colombia’s military have publicly admitted to assassinating more than 100 civilians about 15 years ago and then covering up their deaths by falsely portraying their victims to be militants killed in combat — so-called false positives. The soldiers admitted to their role in the deaths and disappearances during a tribunal organized by the country’s transitional justice tribunal, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. This is Nestor Gutierrez, a former Colombian Army official.
Nestor Gutierrez: “We made a theater to show supposed combats because of the pressure from the high command. I executed, I killed relatives of the people who are here, taking them with lies and deceit, shooting them, murdering them cruelly, cowardly, and planting guns and saying that they died in combat, that they were guerrilla.”
Tuesday’s testimony came just days after Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace revealed that nearly 6,000 people were killed or disappeared by paramilitaries over a two-decade period as part of a military-backed campaign against the left-wing Patriotic Union party.