Madres de Soacha

Seeking Justice: The Mothers of Soacha, January 2010

Revelations in 2008 that the security forces had extrajudicially executed dozens of young men from Soacha, a poor neighbourhood near the capital Bogotá, forced the government to finally acknowledge that the security forces were responsible for extrajudicial executions and to adopt measures to combat the problem. The killings, which were falsely presented by the military as “guerrillas killed in combat” (and sometimes as “paramilitaries killed in combat”)
were carried out in collusion with paramilitary groups or criminal gangs. The young victims were lured to the north of the country with promises of paid employment and were subsequently killed. In most of these cases, as a reward for having “killed a guerrilla member” soldiers received money, extra days of holiday and a congratulations letter from their superiors.

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