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News > Colombia

UN Condemns Colombia 'False Positives' Assasination Attempt

  • General Leonardo Barrero (C), commander of Colombia's armed forces, waves at troops as he leaves the Ministry of Defense Building in Bogota, February 18

    General Leonardo Barrero (C), commander of Colombia's armed forces, waves at troops as he leaves the Ministry of Defense Building in Bogota, February 18 | Photo: Reuters file

Published 13 January 2019

UN urges Colombian authorities to investigate the attempts made on the life of the mother seeking justice for the extrajudicial killing of her son.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned the attempts against the life of Alfamir Castillo, the mother of Darbey Mosquera Castillo, who was killed in 2008, as part of the “false positives” extrajudicial killings which rocked Colombia during President Alvaro Uribe’s administration.

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Alberto Brunori, a spokesperson for the OHCHR stated, “The protection of the life and integrity of the victims of crimes against humanity is an imperative of international law and we trust in the decisive action of the JEP [Special Jurisdiction for Peace] the UNP [Special Protection Unit] and the police to prevent these “threats” from materializing."

In an incident which took place at a location between the municipalities of Palmira and Pradera, Valle del Cauca, three armed men riding motorbikes are reported to have shot three times at Alfamir Castillo who was riding in a truck together with her UNP bodyguards. Nobody was hurt by the attackers whose shots only impacted the car, according to La FM news agency.

Castillo is under precautionary measures allotted to her by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights due to several attempts made against her during 2018 for her participation in an audience against General Mario Montoya Uribe, which was held under the auspices of JEP.

The threats made against Castillo have been acknowledged by both the JEP and the United Nations Rapporteur of the situation of human rights defenders Michel Frost in his recent visit to Colombia.

As a response to the attempts on Castillo’s life, the U.N. urged the attorney general to conduct an urgent investigation on the perpetrators of the attack and to hold them responsible to their actions.

General Montoya is currently undergoing a judicial process due to the “false positives” case.

In context, at least 1,750 members of Colombia's army were involved in creating "false positives," the name given to the practice of killing civilians and disguising them as combatants. According to Colombia's Office of the Attorney General, this phenomenon claimed the lives of at least 2,248 persons between 1988 and 2014. 

The Colombian government provided an incentive for these extrajudicial killings by issuing a secret order, called "Directive 29," that offered a financial reward to those who killed guerrillas or paramilitaries.

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