Retired general Mario Montoya and eight other soldiers indicted this Wednesday have 30 days to admit or not recognize the facts. They will then have to admit the truth publicly in front of the victims’ families, before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace pronounces its sentence.
A special court in Colombia on Wednesday formally charged retired general and former army chief of staff Mario Montoya with crimes against humanity for his responsibility in the murder and disappearance of 130 civilians. wrongly presented as guerrillas who died in combat.
Mario Montoya, 74, allegedly pressured the men under his command “to obtain results in combat” between 2002 and 2003, Catalina Diaz, judge at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), said at a press conference. ), special court charged with investigating the worst crimes committed during the Colombian conflict.
Medals, permissions and promotions
According to her, Mario Montoya is accused of having “lied about the number of victims” to inflate the statistics when he was at the head of the IVth Brigade of the Army, which operated in the department of Antioquia (north). -west).
The court, resulting from the peace agreement concluded in 2016 with the Marxist FARC guerrillas, charged him with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to the JEP, which provides alternative sentences to prison for defendants who confess to their crimes and compensate their victims, at least 6,402 people have been killed as part of this practice, known as “false positives.” one of the biggest scandals involving the Colombian army during its confrontation with far-left guerrillas.
Several officers and soldiers admitted to the JEP their involvement in these assassinations of civilians, often shot in cold blood. These “positive” results earned them medals, permissions and promotions.
Mario Montoya served as army chief of staff from 2006 and was one of the senior officers closest to right-wing President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), who was leading a fierce offensive against the FARCs.
In 2008, he resigned following the scandal of these executions which, according to him, were carried out behind his back. But according to the JEP, adding up these “false positives” had become a “recurring order” from Montoya, already indicted in 2021 by the prosecutor’s office for 104 homicides between 2007 and 2008 according to the same modus operandi.
Source: BFM TV