Sunday 16 June 2019
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business-standard - 22 days ago

New evidence links Colombia army chief to civilian slayings

New evidence has emerged linking the embattled head of Colombia s army to the alleged cover-up of civilian killings more than a decade ago. The documents, provided to The Associated Press by a person familiar with an ongoing investigation into the extrajudicial killings, come as Gen. Nicacio Martnez Espinel faces mounting pressure to resign over orders he gave troops this year to step up attacks in what some fear could pave the way for a return of serious human rights violations. Colombia s military has been blamed for as many as 5,000 extrajudicial killings at the height of the country s armed conflict in the mid-2000s as troops under pressure by top commanders inflated body counts, in some cases dressing up civilians as guerrillas in exchange for extra pay and other perks. What became known as the false positives scandal has cast a dark shadow over the U.S.-backed military s record of battleground victories. Fifteen years later not a single top commander has been held accountable .

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