Conflict & Justice

Colombia: Soldiers jailed for 'false positive' murder of disabled man


A Colombian soldier is seen here during combat with guerilla troops. Former Colombian navy Colonel Luis Fernando Borja Giraldo has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of civilians. He then had them dressed as guerilla soldiers to create a "false positive" number of guerilla deaths in the country.


Luis Robayo

A Colombian court has jailed six soldiers who murdered a mentally disabled man, and claimed he was a rebel killed in combat, El Colombiano reported.

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Four soldiers received prison terms of 30 years for the killing of 26-year-old Fair Leonardo Porras, who was lured to the town of Ocana, in north-east Colombia, with the promise of work.

Army Major Wilson and Lieutenant Quijano Aldair Diego Vargas received 50 years, after having been convicted on charges of both murder and forced disappearance.

The sentencing is the latest development in Colombia's so-called “fasle positives” scandal, in which, the BBC reported, more than 1,000 cases are being investigated.

According to El Colombiano, Porras disappeared on January 8, 2008, in Soacha, south of the capital, Bogota. Less than a week later, the military in Ocana reported him as a guerrilla killed in combat.

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He was one of a dozen people who disappeared from Soacha, only to be later displayed as guerrillas killed in clashes with security forces.

Hundreds of soldiers are reportedly in custody as “fasle positives” cases are investigated in Colombia, which is in its 48th year of civil war.