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News > Colombia

Colombia: Indigenous Leaders Call To Inquire False Positives

  • During the hearing, the victims demanded a further investigation of crimes against humanity against indigenous communities. Jul. 18, 2022.

    During the hearing, the victims demanded a further investigation of crimes against humanity against indigenous communities. Jul. 18, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@reporaso

Published 18 July 2022

Indigenous leaders claim that 50 extrajudicial executions were committed against their peoples, not the three recognized by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

On Monday, before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), representatives of indigenous communities of the Colombian Caribbean denounced that between 2002 and 2005, battalions of the National Army perpetrated in their territories 50 extrajudicial executions of young people who were later presented as guerrillas killed in combat, known as false positives.

Colombia: Indigenous Guard Murdered in Cauca Department

During a hearing of the JEP on false positives on the Caribbean coast, held in the city of Valledupar, department of Cesar (north), the commissioner of Human Rights of the Wiwa people, Pedro Loperena, assured that the La Popa battalion and two others, whose theater of operations was located in Cesar and Guajira, committed that number of extrajudicial executions against his people and not only the three that the JEP recognizes.

Based on this record, he calls to continue analyzing the investigations of the remaining cases until the truth of what happened is known. Loperena thanked the JEP for recovering cases hidden for years in the Attorney General's Office and shelved by the military justice system.

For his part, the governing council of the Kankuamo people, Jaime Luis Arias, said that his territory has been the target of systematic violence committed by the armed conflict actors or in the name of economic and political interests.

He continued to say that this violence placed his community on the verge of physical and cultural extermination and remarked that all this occurred in the face of inaction by the Colombian State, which he accused of acting against the people.

The hearing in Valledupar called on 12 military personnel and one civilian who was part of the battalion between 2002 and 2005 to publicly acknowledge their involvement and responsibility in the commission of 127 murders and disappearances of innocent young people to present them as guerrilla casualties in combat.

They are expected to acknowledge their participation in the facts and offer truth to the victims present at the hearing.

Colonels Publio Hernán Mejía and Juan Carlos Figueroa, commanders of the La Popa battalion between 2002 and 2004 and 2004 and 2005, respectively, were also charged in this case.

These officers did not accept the charges of responsibility and involvement in these crimes against humanity, for which they could face an adversarial process before the JEP and prison sentences of 20 years.


Colombia JEP
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