Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | May 31, 2012

Man survives becoming victim of “false positive.”

A campesino man we will call Ernesto survived becoming a victim of a “false positive,” the practice in which the army kills a civilian and passes him off as a guerrilla killed in combat.

Ernesto told El Tiempo that he and his cousin were out when they accepted drinks from a stranger.

They awoke the next morning in a strange house. He went to the bathroom, and something felt oddly strange: Why were there boot footprints where none had been, and why were there guns lying about?

Ernesto took a gun, and from nowhere, someone began shooting at him. He jumped out the open window. His cousin remained in the house, nursing the hang-over, and he fell victim.

Ernesto ran across mountains. He hid for six hours in the bushes. He next went to the nearest police station where he told his story.

Apparently, finding and intoxicating victims and handing them off to the army was a kind of business for some in Sucre department.

Not enough is being done about “false positives.”


Justice is Achilles heel.

Scandals of “false positives” reveal army’s human rights abuses run deep. (

Bill that sends military crimes to civilian courts faces opposition.

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