Colombia and deaths of over 6,000 by the military: Ex-President asks for forgiveness

Colombia and deaths of over 6,000 by the military: Ex-president asks for forgiveness

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The recent history of Colombia is blighted by massacres committed by the armed forces, right-wing paramilitaries, left-wing forces (FARC), and murky criminal activity that belongs to many shadows. Of course, the criminal acts of America and the role of the CIA assisted in the carnage. Therefore, the ex-President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, is asking for forgiveness concerning the deaths of 6,402 people killed by the armed forces between 2002-2008.

Ironically, while Santos is asking for forgiveness concerning the events of 2002-2008, protesters in modern-day Colombia are being killed by the security apparatus for protesting against the current government. Hence the grim past is alive in Colombia even if the causes of fresh deaths concern new dynamics in 2021. 

Reuters reports, “In public testimony to Colombia’s truth commission on Friday, former President Juan Manuel Santos asked for forgiveness for extrajudicial killings of thousands of people committed by the country’s armed forces partly during his time as defense minister.”

The former Defense Minister (2006-2009) and President (2010-2018) blames the actions of ex-President Alvaro Uribe (President 2002-2010) for not reigning in the brutal deaths of “false positives”by the armed forces. Santos implies that Uribe sought to crush the left-wing forces of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (The National Liberation Army. Therefore, the armed forces had space to act with impunity and kill innocents called the “false positives.”

The BBC reported earlier this year, “An inquiry in Colombia has found that 6,402 civilians were killed by the military between 2002 and 2008 and falsely passed off as enemy combatants.”

Santos, concerning the brutal deaths of 6,402 “false positives,” said, “That should never have happened, I acknowledge that, and I ask for forgiveness, from the depths of my soul, from all the mothers and their families, who became victims of this horror.”

Santos continued, “I have to say that President Uribe did not want to change this disastrous doctrine he had orchestrated.”

The Special Commission for Peace (JEP) is seeking to bring reconciliation and closure to a horrendous period in the history of Colombia. However, with so many innocents killed – and with the elites in power at the time sanctioning this crime and getting away with such brutal deeds – then reconciliation can never happen given the prevailing conditions. 

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated, “Since the conflict broke out in 1964 – and before the peace deal with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in 2016 – the left-wing guerrillas, far-right paramilitaries, and the armed forces of Colombia all committed atrocities. Similarly, the role of America in training paramilitary groups and the armed forces of Colombia is extremely murky. Hence, an external angle exists along with the internal one concerning America’s geopolitical concerns. Therefore, massacres against so-called leftists were deemed permissible by the upper echelons based in Colombia and the corridors of power in Washington.”

https://jp.reuters.com/article/instant-article/idUSKCN2DN2G9

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-56112386

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