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Iran Press TV

Rights concerns in Colombia over leaked recording

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:41AM GMT

Human rights concerns have risen again in Colombia after an online recording of a military chief revealed his solidarity with a colonel jailed for alleged extrajudicial killings.

In the recording, published by leading newsmagazine Semana on Sunday, Colombia armed forces chief General Leonardo Barrero is heard telling colonel Robinson Gonzalez del Rio that prosecutors' investigations into the extrajudicial killings is a "bunch of crap."

The army chief also suggests that Gonzalez, who is facing criminal charges over the killing of two men in 2007, mount a counterattack to discredit prosecutors.

According to local reports, deputy joint chief General Javier Rey, resigned on Monday following the revelation by Semana's weekend report. Barrero also reported to have expressed regret over his remarks in the audio recording.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the serious allegations made in the Semana report need to be investigated. The government, however, said it was taking no immediate action against Barrero as he was not directly accused of corruption.

An earlier scandal on extrajudicial killings by Colombia military dubbed as "false positives scandal" broke in 2008.

According to media reports, hundreds of innocent civilians were slain and presented as guerrillas killed in battle by the country's army in an effort to inflate body counts and receive promotions or other benefits.

Earlier this month, Semana reported that a military spy ring had eavesdropped for 15 months on emails and text messages of government negotiators involved in peace talks with leftist rebels.


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