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Colombia: Defense Minister resigns amid accusations disguising killings of minors as FARC soldiers

Photo credit: REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

By BO Staff Writer

On Wednesday Guillermo Botero, Colombia’s defense minister, resigned amid accusations by Sen. Roy Barreras of his failure to disclose the killing of seven minors by the Colombian Army on 2 September in the Caqueta region.

More specifically, Botero was alleged to have falsely presented the minors as dissidents belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and as criminals. He stated that he was forced by the prevailing “political circumstances” to resign.

During a hearing where a motion to remove Botero was debated, the Peace Commission president and Social Party of National Unity lawmaker Roy Barreras, said:

“He (Botero) presented such a bombing as a military success against 14 criminals; however, he hid from the country that seven of them were minors, including a 12-year-old girl”.

Barreras cautioned that this bombing demonstrated a comeback of “false positives,” a phrase used to describe the execution of civilians deliberately misrepresented by the repressive regime as guerrillas killed during combat.

In the meantime Colombian President Ivan Duque commended the September 2 bombing as “an impeccable operation” and an example of “coordination” which made possible the killing of FARC leader, Gildardo Cucho.

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