JEP Confession: Colombian Military Acknowledges Having Committed a Massacre of False Positives

This Wednesday, retired major Jorge Edwin Gordillo admitted having committed a massacre by perpetrating false positives. This can affect former President Álvaro Uribe .

JEP room

Photo: JEP Colombia


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Leer en español: Confesión en la JEP: Militar colombiano reconoce haber cometido una masacre de falsos positivos

Retired Army Major Jorge Edwin Gordillo acknowledged this Wednesday that Colombian soldiers were the authors of "a massacre" when referring to the 303 people murdered in the department of Casanare (east) presented as "combat casualties" and known as "false positives."

"We committed a massacre, I committed a massacre with the Casanare people, because that was how it was, there were more than 80 murders," Gordillo said during the third and last day of a truth recognition hearing held by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Yopal, capital of Casanare.

The senior military officer said that these 80 murders were committed by members of the Infantry Battalion No.44 "Ramón Nonato Pérez" (Birno).

"Not only did I harm you, the families of the victims, I also did this damage to my country, to the people of Casanare, to my family," Gordillo said while being reproached by relatives of the victims who demanded that the military say "the true truth" and not change their statements at convenience.

The numbers of false positives according to the JEP

According to the JEP, in this part of the country there were 303 murders presented as combat casualties by members of the Army's XVI Brigade , known as "false positives."

With these crimes, which were uncovered at the end of 2008, the military at the time sought rewards such as permits and promotions, among others.

Read also: What is the Future of Uribismo in Colombia Without the Figure of Álvaro Uribe?

The hearing in Yopal was chaired by Judge Óscar Parra, together with Judge Catalina Díaz, from the Recognition Chamber, both co-rapporteurs of Case 03, which investigates the murders and forced disappearances presented as combat casualties by State agents.

More than 120 relatives of victims were present at the proceedings, who after several previous acts of reparation, attended to hear the truth and question those who were materially and intellectually responsible for ending the lives of their relatives.

In addition, there were representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) of the Organization of American States (OAS) and victims' organizations, among others.

The JEP established that at least 6,402 people were murdered to be presented as combat casualties in Colombia between 2002 and 2008, a period that coincides with the Government of then President Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010).

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