PBI-Colombia accompanies organizations at JEP ‘false positives’ hearing of retired National Army General Montoya

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 12, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted on their Facebook page “Today PBI accompanies organizations representing victims at the Gnrl (R) Montoya hearing in the JEP…”

The organizations tagged in their post are the Association of Human Rights Defenders Network of Colombia (dhColombia), the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective Corporation (CCAJAR) and the Corporation for Judicial Freedom (CJL).

PBI-Colombia continues, “[There] a rally was organized reminding people and young people who were victims of disappearance and after execution, the so-called ‘false positives’. They ask for the clarification of the truth about these terrible crimes.”

Gnrl (R) Montoya

Colombia Reports has explained, “Colombia’s former National Army commander General Mario Montoya, an alleged mastermind of the mass murder of civilians to fake military successes, has been called to trial. …The court wants the former general to appear on February 12 to clarify his role in the ‘false positives’ that spiked under his command.”

False positives

False positives refer to the extrajudicial executions of thousands of individuals falsely presented by the military as combat kills.

The Guardian has reported, “According to authors Omar Rojas Bolaños and Fabian Leonardo Benavides, approximately 10,000 civilians were executed by the army between 2002 and 2010 – more than three times the number tallied by human rights groups.”

That article adds, “The inflated figures were used to justify US aid military packages while the officers who carried out the executions were rewarded with promotions and time off.”

JEP

The JEP refers to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

Georgetown Law has explained, “Colombia’s 2016 Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP guerrillas included the creation of a groundbreaking transitional justice system, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). Meant to try both former guerrillas, and members of the Colombian Armed Forces who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, the JEP remains the most visible symbol of the Peace Agreement.”

Today’s hearing

El Espectador reports, “The victims who will be present and the lawyers are part of organizations such as Mafapo, the Colombian Commission of Jurists, Current Humanity, Corporación Jurídica Libertad, Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, Javier Villegas Posada Asociados, Minga Association, the Solidarity Committee Foundation with the Political Prisoners and the José Alvear Restrepo Bar Association.”

“This meeting is just the first stage of contributing to the truth of the people indicated of having committed serious crimes. Those who do not contribute to the full truth must go to an adversarial trial in the JEP Court. If they are found responsible for serious human rights violations and serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, they may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.”

The hearing that started today is scheduled to conclude on February 14.

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