An inquiry in Colombia has found that 6,402 civilians were killed by the military between 2002 and 2008 and falsely passed off as enemy combatants. The army’s aim was to pass the civilians off as left-wing rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to boost its kill rate and give the impression it was winning the armed conflict against the group.
Over the past decade, members of the Colombian military have given evidence in several court cases about how their superiors pressured them to drive up their “kill rate.” Promotions or extra days off were some of their rewards. In one case, eight soldiers were jailed for taking four farmers from their homes by force, shooting them in the back, and dressing them up as rebels. In another instance, poor young men from Bogotá were lured with promises of work, only to be murdered and dressed in rebel fatigues. While many Colombian soldiers, government officials, and high-ranking officers are now standing trial or being punished for their crimes, the fact remains that many innocent people died in vain. Their blood was shed for a reward as simple as a few days off. They were murdered for a lie, to make it look like the army was winning a war.
I believe the only way to change a man’s heart and mind and get a sinner to value human life is through the transformational power of Jesus Christ. Please pray that the gospel would reach Colombia and that people would be saved and lives would be changed, so that stories like these won’t be told again.