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| 6/19/2009 12:00:00 AM

U.N. says Colombian army killed innocent civilians

Jun 19 -- A U.N. investigator criticized Colombia on Thursday for not doing enough to punish soldiers who killed innocent civilians and made them look like enemy guerrilla casualties.

The case of 19 men and boys shot dead by soldiers last year and then passed off as rebels killed in combat is but the "tip of the iceberg", U.N. rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Philip Alston said.

Colombians were shocked by the slayings by troops seeking promotions and bonuses offered by an army under increasing pressure to crush the country's 45-year-old leftist insurgency. The 19 were from the impoverished Bogota suburb of Soacha.

When revelations of the crimes surfaced in the local media, the first reaction of many military officials was to place the blame on a few errant soldiers and commanders.
 
Read more here.
 
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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EDICIÓN 1855

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