Soacha Killings Highlight Colombian Human Rights Concerns

Soacha Killings Highlight Colombian Human Rights Concerns

BOGOTÁ, Colombia -- An uncomfortable silence filled the officers' mess at the Macarena military base in southern Colombia as the lunchtime news broadcast the purge of 27 high-ranking army officials. "That's not going to be the end of it," said one army colonel as he shook his head in disbelief.

He was right. Several days later, Colombia's veteran top army commander, Gen. Mario Montoya, resigned.

The firing of the army officers -- including three generals -- earlier this month followed a government probe into the disappearance of 11 men from Soacha, a poor neighborhood outside of Bogotá. The young men were later found dead in an unmarked grave hundreds of miles away from their homes, dressed in army fatigues. They had been falsely listed as guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), killed in combat. The macabre revelation has caused public outrage and continues to dominate news headlines here.

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