On Monday, Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) charged 22 members of the Army, one State official, and two civilians with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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This has to do with the killings that took place in the Casanare department, where 303 innocent people were murdered between 2005 and 2008. The extrajudicial executions known as "False Positives" were presented by the 16th Brigade as guerrillas killed in combat.
"It was established a complex criminal organization, which used the Army institutional architecture to present murders and forced disappearances as combat casualties," stated the JEP, an institution formed after the signing of the 2016 Peace Agreement.
Among the soldiers charged with criminal charges are Major General Henry Torres, two colonels, three lieutenant colonels, ten officers, six non-commissioned officers, and an agent from the former Security Administrative Department (DAS).
The military had "an essential and decisive role in shaping the criminal pattern. They took part in a serious and representative conduct, without which the criminal plan would not have been developed and perpetuated," the JEP pointed out.
"All those directly responsible followed the line of conduct promoted by their commanders. These were not isolated acts or acts committed spontaneously. It was a criminal plan that had its objectives, resources, roles, and modes of operation. It was aimed at consolidating territories and showing progress in the war against the guerrillas," it added.
In the investigation of the "false positives" cases, most of which took place during the Alvaro Uribe administration (2002-2010), the JEP has prioritized the territories located in the Caribbean Coast, Norte de Santander, Antioquia, Huila, Meta, and Casanare.