BOGOTÁ, Colombia -- Over 400 members of Colombia's armed forces have been detained for allegedly taking part in extrajudicial killings of civilians in the last two years, according to the country's attorney general's office.
An ongoing probe into human rights abuses in the Colombian army, known locally as the "false positives" scandal, continues to unfold following the recent arrests of more military personnel. The arrests involve charges that security forces murdered civilians and then passed them off as guerrillas killed in combat in order to inflate rebel body counts. Offers of work were used to lure the young and poor men who were mainly targeted. The men subsequently disappeared, their bodies turning up miles away from where they lived. It is believed that soldiers and police officers received holidays, promotion and financial rewards in return for their participation in the operations.
In recent weeks, Colombian authorities have issued dozens of new arrest warrants, implicating more soldiers and officers in the "false positives" affair. Several detectives from the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), the government intelligence agency, are also under investigation.