Former Colombian leader asks for amnesty for military killing of civilian armed groups
Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos asked on Friday to forgive the country’s armed forces for the extrajudicial execution of thousands of people during his tenure as defense minister.
Santos, he signed in 2016 Peace agreement In cooperation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which created the commission, to testify to the Colombian Truth Commission about the so-called “false positive” scandal, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as soldiers killed in combat to receive rewards.
The country’s transitional justice court stated At least 6,402 people During the tenure of former President Alvaro Uribe, they were killed between 2002 and 2008 and falsely described as insurgents. Some victim groups claim that this number may be higher.
Santos served as Uribe’s defense minister for nearly three years from 2006 to 2009, and held that position when the murder was revealed.
“The chapter that was misreported was one of the most painful moments of my public life, and it was an indelible stain on the honor of the army,” Santos said, adding that he regrets that his mother lost her child during his tenure. Time as minister.
He said that with Uribe’s support, the pressure to create a high number of kills was the culprit, and the army should ask for forgiveness.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” Santos said. “I recognize this and ask all mothers and their families to forgive me from the depths of my soul. They are the victims of this terror.”
Santos said that when he first heard the rumors of the killing, he didn’t believe it.
Once the rumors were true, Santos said that he issued an order giving demobilization and captives the right to take precedence over killing, changed the protocol for dealing with combat deaths, and revised the criteria for awarding medals.
Santos said that the results of the internal investigation left him stunned.
“I may never feel the combination of anger and severe pain so intensely, as well as such deep sadness.”
He said dozens of military officers were removed, and the change in etiquette has led to a sharp drop in murders committed by the military.
The victim group misreported the mother Colombia Earlier he urged Santos to ask for forgiveness.
“Today, we have little hope for you. [Santos] to be frank. Ask every mother whose child was taken away by Uribe for forgiveness, [Former Colombian National Army General Mario Montoya] And yourself. Today you can change history. In honor of our children, let’s be honest,” the organization wrote on Twitter.
Today, we have a little expectation of you. @???Santos to be frank. Apologize to the mothers of every child taken by Uribe, Montoya, and you. Today can really change history. In honor of our children, let’s be honest. https://t.co/dhyZH6ZNc8
-False Positive Mothers in Colombia (@MAFAPOCOLOMBIA) June 11, 2021
Dozens of military officers were detained and convicted for participating in the killing.
2016 peace agreement Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces fighters Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize and witnessed the demobilization of approximately 13,000 FARC members.
The leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia also Admission in April The kidnapping policy, they call it “unreasonable.” According to data from the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP) responsible for overseeing the FARC and Colombia’s national peace process, between 1990 and 2015, approximately 21,396 people were kidnapped or taken hostage by the FARC.
JEP accuses former commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia War crimes In January.
The conflict between the Colombian government and the armed rebel forces, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, lasted for 50 years, causing 260,000 deaths and displacement of millions.
Santos is the third former president to contribute to the committee, which will end this year.
It is unclear whether Uribe, who strongly opposes the peace agreement, will eventually testify in court.
Right-wing President Ivan Duke, who took office in 2018, has also been opposed to the deal. Some FARC fighters continued to fight the government, causing conflicts and deaths, and jeopardizing the peace agreement.