HomeNewsBriefColombian Soldiers Sentenced to 60 Years for Civilian Murders
BRIEF

Colombian Soldiers Sentenced to 60 Years for Civilian Murders

COLOMBIA / 8 JUL 2011 BY RONAN GRAHAM EN

Eight Colombian soldiers have been sentenced to 60 years each in prison after being found guilty of the murders of four farmers who they had claimed were "guerrillas killed in combat."

A court in the municipality of Yarumal, in the north-western department of Antioquia, handed down the sentences, the maximum permitted under Colombian law, to a former lieutenant and seven soldiers of the Atanasio Girardot Battalion.

The incident occurred in March 2006 in the village of Tobon, when the soldiers claimed that the four victims had been killed in a gun battle between the army and guerillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC). However, evidence accepted by the court demonstrated that John Edison Galeano Barrientos, Jesus Alberto Londoño Arroyave, Dario Rodriguez and Juan Morales, had been dragged from their homes and executed with a shot in the back.

A statement released by the Attorney General’s office said that the prosecution had “proved beyond reasonable doubt that the victims were taken by force from their homes and that there was no fighting”.

The case is the latest in the so-called "false positive" scandal, in which members of Colombia’s armed forces have been accused of murdering hundreds of civilians. The victims were then accused of involvement in rebel activity by soldiers who were keen to increase their body counts in an attempt to attain rewards and promotions. There have been over 2,000 documented cases of this practice, resulting in the imprisonment so far of almost 100 members of the armed forces.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 7 MAY 2019

Despite a steep drop in their overall value over the last 18 months and a raft of interdictions by Latin…

COLOMBIA / 15 MAR 2017

Venezuelan authorities recently announced cocaine seizures of almost three metric tons, illustrating the persistent flow of drugs on the…

BOLIVIA / 14 MAY 2021

The extradition of a prominent Bolivian drug trafficker to Brazil has shed rare light on how family clans in the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…