Colombia: convictions in ‘false positive’ killings

Col. Óscar Alberto Acuña Arroyo, a former commander of Colombia's elite GAULA army unit, was sentenced to 28 years in prison Jan. 21 for covering up the slaying of two young migrant laborers at Sincelejo, Sucre department, in 2006. The youths were apparently lured from their home in Caucasia, Antioquia, with a promise of work, trasnported in a GAULA truck—but were instead put to death upon their arrival Sincelejo. The deaths were reported as guerillas killed in combat—an army practice known as "false positives." (El Tiempo, Jan. 21) Two days earlier, Col. Robinson González del Río, former commander of the army's Counter-guerilla Battalion 57 "Héroes de Puerres," was sentced to 30 years for his role in over 30 extrajudicial executions in Antioquia between 2006 and 2009, similarly reported as "false positives." (El TiempoEl Espectador, Jan. 19)