Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez spoke about the extrajudicial killings between 2002 and 2008 at an event attended by the relatives of the 19 victims.
Velasquez said, "These murders should never have happened. We ask you to forgive us for these crimes that shame us in front of the world."
Florinda Hernandez, who lost her son to extrajudicial killings, said that Juan Manuel Santos, who was the defense minister at the time, should be the one to ask for forgiveness.
Hernandez noted that they do not want this to happen again and that they are still seeking justice for the murder of many people.
It was revealed that more than 6,400 people were killed by extrajudicial killings in Colombia between 2002 and 2008.
The Special Peace Law (JEP), established within the framework of the Peace Treaty with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), prepared a report on February 19, 2021 on the military's operations against terrorist organizations between 2002 and 2008, when violence was intense.
The report stated that more than 6,400 people were unlawfully executed between these years.
CIVILIANS WERE KIDNAPPED AND KILLED
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that between 2002 and 2008, more than 3,000 poor, drug-addicted and disabled civilians were kidnapped and killed by Colombian security forces in so-called "false positive deaths".
According to local media reports, there have been many allegations that security forces dressed the civilians they killed in terrorist uniforms and presented them to the public as if they had been killed during the war.
"False positive deaths" are generally defined as the victims being taken to a quiet place and executed by the military for various reasons, and then manipulating the murder scene with various methods such as dressing the victim's lifeless body in terrorist uniforms and giving him a gun.