False Positives have not disappeared: CINEP/PPP

CINEP/PPP Communication Regarding Juan Manuel Santos Statement

Sent by CINEP Press on Monday, March 15, 2010
Press release:
http://www.cinep.org.co/taxonomy/term/14 <http://www.cinep.org.co/taxonomy/term/14>
(Translated by Emily Hansen, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

The Center for Research and Popular Education-Peace Program (CINEP/PPP) corrects the statement made by Presidential candidate Jan Manuel Santos in the March 2010 edition of the “Credential Review” (El Tiempo Editorial House) regarding the problem of the “false positives.”

Santos stated in the middle of the communication, “Regarding false positives I can assure you that they are finished. I finished them with the help of President Uribe and the Commander General of the Military Forces. Since October of 2008 there has not been one single false positive case.  Even CINEP has said that what we have done is sufficient. What we now have to do is bring those who are guilty to justice, and free the innocent.”

First of all, CINEP/PPP reiterates, as was stated in the special report “From False Positives to Social Intolerance and Collective Threats,” released last October, there certainly has been an important decrease in the “false positives” cases that have occurred in Colombia since November, 2008.  The actions by the Ministry of Defense against the extrajudicial executions positively contributed to this decrease in cases, but those were not the only actions involved. The discussion of the topic on the part of the social and political sectors, the visibility acquired in mass media, the preoccupations manifested by the different NGOs, the actions of the Office of the High Commission of the United Nations for Human Rights and for the International Community, as well as the investigations of the cases denounced by the Nation’s Attorney General and the Governmental Internal Affairs Agency were also fundamental.

Additionally, CINEP/PPP has information that affirms that nine false positive cases occurred between November 2008 and December 31, 2009 (of which 7 were extradijudicial executions, and 2 were arbitrary detentions).  This information contradicts the Presidential candidate’s statement that not one single false positives case has occurred since October 2008.

Finally, CINEP/PPP clarifies that it was never stated that what has been done so far regarding “false positives” has been “sufficient.”  That is a term that does not take into account the complexity of the problem afflicting Colombia.  Although CINEP/PPP recognized the improvement in a prior release, it is essential that these results are kept up in the future, and that those responsible are brought to justice, even though this is proving to be difficult due to judicial technicalities in various cases.
Additionally, it is important that the Government and the Public Force confront other types of abuses that have become present and that are also a risk to public security, as are the cases of social intolerance and collective threats that have notably increased in the last year-and-a-half.

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