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News > Colombia

Colombia: False Positive Scandal Rehashed After Farmer's Murder

  • As part of the

    As part of the "false positives" scandal, army killed civilians to inflate body counts and receive promotions or other benefits. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 June 2020
Opinion

Soldiers who killed the man tried to frame him as a FARC member.

Colombian soldiers who killed a farmer are now trying to frame him as a guerrilla member, social groups denounced as reported by France 24 Observers Monday. 

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Oriolfo Sanchez was shot dead by soldiers in his home, after he was allegedly mistaken for a man known as "Cabuyo," who leads a group of dissidents in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's 36th Front (FARC).

"He left his home around 10 am to go work and was shot several dozen meters from there," a representative for a social group in northern Antioquia Jose David Hernandez told in an exclusive to France 24.

"Soldiers came up to the house and said that they had just killed Cabuyo. Another worker, as well as a woman who was also present, said that Sanchez was just a farmer and not 'Cabuyo.' Soldiers had made a major mistake."

" Ariolfo Sanchez Ruiz was executed by the Army in Antioquia.
Community prevented the military from taking the body away.
They were going to pass it off as a false positive, a combat casualty?"
 

Soldiers also tried to take Sanchez's body away, something that has been denounced as an attempt to create a false positive by declaring him a casualty. However, community members stopped them to remove the corpse.

Community members also said that "the attitude of the soldiers was bizarre. (...)They knew from the beginning that they hadn’t killed the man known as "Cabuyo". So we were all thinking that Oriolfo Sanchez was going to be another “false positive.”

This whole situation conjures up what was known as the "false positives scandal," when for over two decades, in the context of the war on irregular armed groups in Colombia, the army murdered innocent civilians, passing them off as guerrillas killed in combat to prove efficiency.

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