Saturday, March 28, 2009

President Uribe in a State of Denial! From CIP

“The Armed Forces of Colombia, in this process of being effective and transparent, will gladly correct any error. They don’t accept ‘false positives,’ nor will they allow themselves to be tied up by false accusations.

“Today we see hundreds of false accusations, when in reality only 22 cases of ‘false positives’ have any juridical foundation.

“We are the first to demand that there be no ‘false positives,’ that there be total transparency. But we have to be the first to denounce that many people, basing themselves on the issue of ‘false positives,’ have caused these false accusations to increase, in order to try to paralyze the security forces’ actions against the terrorists.”

- President Uribe yesterday, alleging that nearly all allegations of “false positives” are unfounded accusations from people seeking to slow down the Colombian military’s efforts to fight guerrillas. The term “false positives” refers to hundreds of cases in which soldiers are believed to have killed civilians, only to present their bodies as those of illegal armed-group members killed in combat.

Colombian non-governmental human-rights groups believe that as many as 1,192 civilians were victims of “false positives” between July 2002 and June 2007, and 535 between January 2007 and June 2008 alone. As of the end of last year, Colombia’s attorney-general’s office (Fiscalía) was investigating 716 cases, with over 1,000 victims, while the inspector-general’s office (Procuraduría) was reviewing 943 cases involving at least 2,742 members of the Army. It is unclear where President Uribe’s reference to 22 cases with juridical foundation comes from.

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