Colombian troops charged in deserter's killing

AP News
Posted: Dec 28, 2011 12:26 PM
Colombian troops charged in deserter's killing

Colombian authorities say seven soldiers have been charged in the killing of a comrade who had deserted.

Prosecutors say in 2006 the troops reported they killed a rebel in combat near the northern town of Majagual.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the prosecutors said investigators determined the victim wasn't a rebel but rather a soldier who had deserted from the same infantry unit.

A scandal broke out in Colombia in 2008 over extrajudicial executions of civilians by security forces. Since then, prosecutors have received complaints of more than 2,700 such killings.

Prosecutors said earlier this year that at least 368 soldiers and police officers have been convicted and an additional 700 face charges.