Un Llamado Profético-denunciando los falsos positivos (ENGLISH)

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JUSTAPAZ 13 de Julio de 2009 por Daniel Moya en diálogo con Fabián Wilches- asistente programa de documentación Justapaz

Justapaz and The Comisión for Restoration, Life, and Peace of the Colombian Evangelical Council are working together in the elaboration of a documentation and advocacy program. This began as the answer for a role that Justapaz wanted to play in the armed conflict, publicizing the political and social situation in Colombia and how the evangelical/protestant churches have lived their suffering and their hope, to be shared nationally and internationally. It is also a call to be the voice for the victims of the actors of the conflict and the government’s official position that many times doesn’t match with reality, as when it is said that there is no armed conflict, that paramilitarism is over, that the military forces don’t kill innocent people, among others. The document, A Prophetic Call, is an instrument to transform reality, as it denounced the atrocities of the armed conflict and as it announces the good news of hope from community building based in the teachings of Jesus Christ’s gospel.

Among the most controversial issues is the so called “false positives”. False positives are actions that are attributed to the guerrilla but that are committed by the Armed Forces of the Colombian State. An example of these actions are the extrajudicial executions; these are murders of farmers and youth of scarce resources by the Colombian army, and they present them as guerrilla men killed in combat.

This is an issue that although recent, is not new, but until now is being known to the public. According to the report of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Platform, there has been an increase of 67.71% in the last quinquennium in the records of extrajudicial executions directly attributed to the Public Security Forces, time which matches the application of “democratic security” policy promoted by the actual government since it’s possession in 2002. Links between the military and the paramilitaries have been found, as well as a certain dynamic that is presented when the paramilitary crimes have decreased and those of the Public Forces have increased and viceversa.

The ministerial directive 029 of 2005, with the objective to regulate the payment of incentives to the Military Forces for actions against terrorism, has had horrific consequences. After the expedition of the directive 029, the Unit of Human Rights of Public Prosecutor show that from 73 complaints in 2005, to 122 in 2006 and 245 in 2007. This regulation has encouraged extrajudicial executions among the military to gain benefits such as promotions or money, criminalizing in this way the Public Force. This is a very critical situation, as Fabian Wilches denunciates that “those who are supposed to protect us are acting against civilians.” The consequences of these policy have been quite serious, considering the increase in disappearances, especially of youth, that are observed in the entire Colombian territory.

Until 2007, Justapaz and CRVP have documented 1,456 cases of violations to evangelical churches and its members from part of the police and the Armed Forces , which include extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and other violations committed by the forces of public security, exceeding the violations from paramilatry groups which were 700, and even further away from violations from guerrilla groups which were 210. These numbers show the evident participation of the Colombian State in the violations of human rights.

During the middle of June of this year, the UN rapporteur, Philip Alston, visited Colombia, invited by the Colombian government, to deal with the issue of extrajudicial executions. The expert said that the false positives can not be considered a state policy, but acknowledge that it is not an isolated issue, since these are systematic actions. The rapporteur demanded the incentives to be eliminated because this policy of rewards from the government to the military in the war against insurgent groups encrouage the assassination of civilians. “The term false positive gives a sort of aura to describe a practical technique that is best characterized as cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians for profit, “said Mr. Alston.

Another observation by the UN expert was the need to change the way in which justice is administered since the military criminal justice and the ordinary justice is administered in different ways. Mr. Alston made a call for the extrajudicial executions to be administered by ordinary justice, since the victims of the State, as well as those from guerrilla groups and paramilitary groups should be treated equally, with the same rights. The government insists those to be dealed differently.

The program of documentation, together with the other programs in Justapaz, has a social impact as it approaches communities and victims, accompanying them in their process of restauration and individual and collective transformation. It has a political impact as well, since to show the issue of the violations of human rights at a national and international level can lead for concrete decisions by governments that directly and positively affects society. It is evident that many churches are working in peace-building, as well as other organizations and other political levels that fight to bring justice to the victims, in this sense, documenting these cases help to “show the other side of the coin” of a conflict that tends to be simplified and retouched, making it a significant input for peace.