In the year 2008, 5 youngsters from low strata and poor families from the Soacha municipality were recruited for a job offering in which they were sent to the Ocaña municipality in northern Colombia where they met their fatal destiny, they were dressed up as guerrilla combatants by members of the Colombian Army and later on murdered and presented as deaths in combat.
The reasons behind these events are many, on one side there was the need for the military battalion located in Ocaña to show “positive” results in the confrontation against insurgent organizations and on the other hand there were individual incentives to all those army officials who achieved enemy deaths in combat, such as money, promotions, and vacations.
This specific case has been notoriously known in Colombia as the “false positives” scandal, the mothers and families of the 5 victims have organized and held acts of protest and political pressure for the truth to come out and for justice to be granted.
This Monday, 21 military officials involved in these specific events have been convicted for what is considered a crime against humanity, the sentences range from 37 to 52 years and constitutes just the “tip of the iceberg” due to the fact that these events have possibly occurred throughout the entire country and during decades.
The establishment of the truth of the crimes committed during the armed conflict by all parties is an essential part of the peace-building process that Colombia is going through in order to put an end to over half a century of armed confrontation and reform key aspects that have caused the conflict itself, such as the need of a democratic opening, a comprehensive rural reform, and the establishment of truth and justice among others.