Colombia to Try 15 Soldiers for Murder
BOGOTA – A former battalion commander and 14 of his men will be tried for murder in the deaths of six civilians falsely reported as rebels killed in combat, the Colombian Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.
Lt. Col. Isnardo Polania Delgadillo, now retired, led a motorized infantry battalion that was operating in the eastern border province of Vichada in late 2006.
The unit reported having killed six guerrillas during a Dec. 22, 2006, engagement in the remote jungle village of Cumaribo, but it subsequently emerged that the fatalities were civilians.
The phenomenon came to light in October 2008 with the discovery in northeastern Colombia of the bodies of a score of young men from a poor Bogota suburb who had been buried in mass graves as if they were insurgents killed in battle.