For the first time and as a result of a judicial action, the Colombian Defense Minister, Iván Velásquez, acknowledged the extrajudicial execution of a civilian committed by members of the Army in 2008, within the scandal known as “false positives.”
The Colombian Defense Minister, Iván Velásquez, publicly apologized to the family of one of the more than 6,000 victims of extrajudicial executions called “false positives” and said that although this act occurred in compliance with a judge’s order, Apologies were to be produced, henceforth, as a sign of goodwill.
The family of Alix Fabián Vargas waited 15 years to receive an official apology for his extrajudicial execution, carried out by soldiers. But this did not come from anyone, but from the Minister of Defense, Iván Velásquez, who in an unprecedented way recognized the facts.
“This act is the State’s recognition that the death of Alix Fabián Vargas Hernández did not occur in the framework of an armed confrontation with groups outside the law, but rather was an abuse of power.”
Vargas was a civilian victim of forced disappearance in the department of Santander, in the northeast of the country. Later, his body was presented as an alleged guerrilla killed in combat.
“I offer my excuses and ask for forgiveness, on behalf of the nation, to the family and friends of Alix Fabián Vargas Hernández, and I also honor the memory of her father Jorge, who died 1 year later in the midst of moral punishment,” Velásquez indicated. .
His case is just one of the more than 6,000 committed by the public forces between 2002 and 2008, according to Colombian justice. Minister Velásquez promised to expedite requests for forgiveness of this type.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace, which judges the worst crimes of the conflict with the FARC, documented more than 6,400 murders of civilians at the hands of soldiers who presented them as guerrillas killed in combat.
President Gustavo Petro has been one of the biggest critics of the public forces for these events and demands that the responsibility of the governments of the time be clarified.
The false positives occurred mostly under the presidential term of the right-wing president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and are the biggest scandal involving the Colombian army. Officers and soldiers have confessed their participation before the court of peace, seeking criminal benefits.