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| 7/19/2011 9:00:00 AM

"I’m guilty"

This is the horrible confession of colonel Luis Fernando Borja, sentenced to 42 years in prison for “false positives”, who accepted a plea bargain to cooperate with the law and will pay half of the sentence.

"I was named on March 30, 2007 Commander of the Sucre’s Joint Task Force. When I arrived, these units were already operating for six months with a record of effectiveness, recognized by the Army. The day after my arrival there were two casualties, seemed normal. It was a very prestigious unit that gave results. Approximately two months later I found out that some of the casualties that had been made in previous years and the ones I wore, were mounted, were false positives. After that, I got to be part of the illegal organization.

“In the early months, stockbreeder brought me intelligence information about what was happening on their farms, with weird people, extortion, robbery… I called the intelligence staff, gathered information and named a commander (…) to initiate the tactical mission. They gave results according to that information. I assumed the effectiveness of that unit was good, and with all those records I didn’t suspect anything.

"I noticed everything when I was in charge of the Army component because the Major Orlando Céspedes Escalona (second commander of the military unit) left for June and July. Before leaving, the Major Cespedes himself told me what was the true way of the false positives and that the squad commanders already knew what to do.

“He told me, there are soldiers responsible for finding the boys or victims, and the weapons that they were going to put to those victims.
He told me that was the way the casualties were made, there was no problem because the victims were rehabilitated (people who join the society after being in organized crime), and when they weren’t, they were thieves and extortionists. The Major Céspedes was the one who introduced me to such illegal activities.

"I have a record of false positives in which the dates, the sector, the victim’s supposed criminal group, the coordinates, the patrol unit and the name of the commander appear. There are the 2007 and 2008 combat casualties, the ones highlighted in yellow are legitimate military operations (…). I also want to deliver 20 pages of illegal activities radiograms and the list of military personnel who participated in various illegal operations. I have also orders in which the Major Céspedes and I were congratulated by the false operations.

“I will also give 19 orders that show that Major Cespedes was not a simple guns counter, but was aware of all the illegal activities being conducted by the Sucre’s Joint Task Force, even before my arrival. He took the soldier Toledo and the corporal Contreras out of the operations area, and assigned them motorcycles, they were responsible for carrying the victims to kill them and present them as false positives. It was a business for them, and I, as commander, benefited not financially but with congratulations ...

"I recognize that in some opportunities for these killings the patrol command was given money. It was the monthly State’s intelligence money. All fictitious payments. They put a real or fictional person who never received the money and it went to the C2 (intelligence), it was under my orders. Most of it was for illegal activities such as false positives and logistics activities. I did not check, when it was going to be a false positive they called Major Cespedes or me at night, to authorize the causality. The troops that would commit the illegal act were told to verify that the weapons were in good condition.

"I preferred to keep silent as I feared for my life and family. I'm not avoiding my responsibilities, I am responsible for all these killings and I want to apologize for sponsoring and tolerating such crimes. I kept silent out of fear, pressure and also for the congratulations of the results achieved (...). I accept."

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