Colombia troops jailed for ‘false positive’ deaths

Six Colombian soldiers have been jailed for murdering a mentally disabled man and falsely claiming he was a rebel, in a bid to earn job benefits.

Four troops were given 30-year sentences, while an army major and a lieutenant were handed 50 years.

Their 26-year-old victim had been lured to their town with promises of a job.

The scandal of “false positive” murders is a nationwide phenomenon, correspondents say.

The BBC’s Jeremy McDermott in Bogota says the attorney general’s office is investigating more than 1,000 cases of extra-judicial killing.

In a country hardened by violence as the civil conflict enters its 48th year, the scandal of the “false positives” has provoked horror and disbelief, he says.

The six men were convicted in March.

Their victim, Fair Leonardo Porras, was promised a job in the town of Ocana in north-eastern Colombia and then killed, in 2008.

Ten other men who travelled to the same town also died. Those cases are being heard separately.

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