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EL ESPECTADOR

Did Colombia Murder Innocents To Boost The FARC Body Count?

A former soldier accuses the Colombian Army and aides to former President Álvaro Uribe of ordering the killings of innocent civilians amid a "dirty war" against FARC rebels.

Victims on all sides in Colombia, including officers executed in 2011 by FARC
Victims on all sides in Colombia, including officers executed in 2011 by FARC
Santiago Villa

BOGOTAThese were the words allegedly uttered by a former commander of the Colombian Army, General Mario Montoya: "Take them down, take them down. Don't bring me prisoners. And if there is nobody down sic, just find a way."

Such is the testimony of jailed former captain Enrique Guevara Cantillo who has been making allegations about the complicity of senior military figures in the affair of "False Positives," the extra-judicial killings of civilians that have tarnished the Colombian Army's reputation.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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