Fault Lines

The Confession: A Colombian colonel faces his victims

In exchange for amnesty, a military commander in Colombia confesses to covering up the killing of innocent civilians.

Fault Lines captures the confession of a Colombian colonel responsible for the deaths of 53 innocent civilians and asks their families for forgiveness in exchange for amnesty.

In the mid-2000s, Colombia sought to prove it was finally winning its long-running war against the country’s armed rebels. Military top brass pressured ground troops to kill more fighters in action. As a result, soldiers executed thousands of civilians, framing them as rebel fighters, and called them “false positives”. Soldiers who delivered the highest body counts were rewarded with bonuses, promotions, and other perks.

In 2022, Colombia’s truth commission revealed at least 6,402 civilians were executed between 2002 and 2008. Now, as a result of Colombia’s historic 2016 peace deal, military officials responsible for these atrocities can qualify for amnesty in exchange for truthful testimony about their war crimes.