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Colombian infantrymen confess murders to sufferers’ households

OCANA: Rural peasant Eliecer Ortega used to be on his personal at his farm when infantrymen burst onto his belongings to first kidnap after which homicide him. His spouse, Eduvina Becerra, needed to wait 15 years to listen to his murderers confess and say sorry. It came about right through a ancient two-day listening to of a distinct peace tribunal arrange in Ocana — a the town in northeastern Colombia just about the place the 43-year-old’s husband used to be killed.

Ortega, a neighborhood rural chief who used to be identified for his character and thick moustache, used to be considered one of 120 civilians, most commonly males elderly 25 to 35, who had been murdered in chilly blood between 2007 and 2008 by way of Colombian infantrymen after which introduced as a ways left guerrilla opponents killed in battle within the space, a bastion of unlawful drug plants.

In an unheard of tournament, 10 former contributors of the army, together with a normal and 4 colonels, publicly admitted their duty within the crimes to the households in their sufferers. Probably the most senior of them, normal Paulino Coronado, who retired in 2008, stated that although he acted “by way of omission, I guess this prison duty… in order that the Colombian folks by no means once more, by no means are living once more, those abominable moments.”

He denied having ordered the killings in his space of duty, however admitted to “now not having acted diligently” within the oversight of his males. “How are you able to say that your duty is by way of omission if you happen to gave the order for your infantrymen… and the entire military used to be acutely aware of what they had been doing?” stated Zoraida Munoz, mom of Jonny Soto, a 22-year-old who dreamed of changing into a soldier prior to being abducted and killed by way of the army.

In step with the Particular Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), some 6,400 civilians had been murdered in a “systematic means” between 2002 and 2008 in spaces of Colombia the place far-left rebels operated. In go back, the warriors got bonuses, promotions and different subject matter benefits.

Referred to as “false positives” it’s the greatest scandal ever to engulf the Colombian army. The warriors took good thing about Ortega’s solitude “in order that no-one discovered they had been going to take him away,” Becerra informed AFP. Like others on the listening to, she used to be dressed in a black T-shirt with the phrases “WHO GAVE THE ORDER?” emblazoned on it.

 ‘My lifestyles collapsed’

Becerra’s husband used to be 38 when he disappeared in October 2007. She stated that she had long past to the town to go on a spree, when infantrymen took him from his farm the place he grew yucca, espresso and pineapples and controlled his neighborhood paintings whilst. After two days of looking out in useless, his “disfigured” corpse seemed in a cemetery in Ocana.

Becerra known him by way of his moustache and a silver ring on his finger. In his pockets there have been two footage, considered one of his spouse and the opposite of his son, Yesid, who on the time used to be 10 years previous. “My lifestyles utterly collapsed,” she stated. In concern, the mummy and son fled their village. Throughout the JEP listening to, former captain Daladier Rivera admitted “duty for the acts” and stated he had supplied the guns that his males positioned along corpses to move them off as rebels.

Becerra sobbed uncontrollably as she listened to the confessions. “You are feeling reduction as a result of our circle of relatives identify has been cleared to the arena,” she later informed AFP. Ortega “used to be now not a fighter or a guerrilla as they stated,” however a easy loving father “faithful” to his son.

Riddled with bullets

The “Moms of Soacha” collective, probably the most well known members of the family of “false positives” sufferers, traveled to Ocana for the listening to. Many in their youngsters, residing in Soacha at the outskirts of Bogota, seduced by way of false guarantees of labor, had been taken aboard military vehicles greater than 600 kilometers (370 miles) to Ocana the place they had been murdered.

Beatriz Mendez, a member of the collective, nonetheless does now not know who killed her son Weimar Castro or her nephew Edward Rincon in 2004. Their murders weren’t coated by way of this listening to. Despite the fact that it “breaks the center” she hopes someday to determine the reality.

Castro and Rincon had been each 19 and unemployed once they went outdoor by no means to be noticed alive once more. A relative heard at the radio that two “guerrillas” were killed by way of the army within the mountains. The 2 youths’ bullet-ridden our bodies had been later discovered “disguised” in army fatigues.

Mendez has a tattoo of her son’s face on her left arm and nonetheless recalls him dancing to Colombian cumbia and reciting poetry. She believes the army killed him with lend a hand from right-wing paramilitary teams. “I need to know the reality and I need to see them (the murderers) face-to-face,” she stated. – AFP

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