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"Soldiers, don't allow other people to remain free while you stay with all this weight. Tell us who gave the order to murder our sons," urged Blanca Monroy, the mother of victim Julian Oviedo.
In a public hearing before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) held on Wednesday, relatives of victims of extrajudicial executions committed by Colombian soldiers asked perpetrators to reveal who ordered the murders.
"Don't allow other people to remain free while you stay with all this weight. Tell us who gave the order to murder our sons," said Blanca Monroy, the mother of victim Julian Oviedo.
With these killings, known in Colombia as "false positive," soldiers intended to report dead civilians as guerrilla fighters killed in combat to earn promotions and economic incentives.
During the April 27 JEP hearing, one civilian and ten retired soldiers took responsibility for 120 extrajudicial killings that took place the administration of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), a far-right politician who has been criminally linked to paramilitary groups.
7. Sins Of My Father
In 1993 Pablo Escobar, Colombia's most notorious and dangerous drug kingpin, was assassinated. His teenage son, Juan, vows revenge and seems determined to carry on his father's legacy of violence and retribution. pic.twitter.com/o1KaVxoahA
"I planned and delivered weapons so that innocent young men who had dreams and were loved by their families were murdered," said retired Sargent Sandro Mauricio Perez, calling himself "a monster" who committed the crimes to please superiors.
"With great pain for the abominable crimes committed by my subordinates, I present my regret for not having acted more diligently," said retired general Paulino Coronado, the highest-ranking official to admit his role in the killings.
Dozens of former officers convicted for “false positive” cases have testified before the JEP with the hope of receiving lighter sentences and serving them in better prison conditions in exchange for full disclosure of their crimes. Many others, however, have refused to testify.