Soldier kills two unarmed boys in southern Colombia

An on-duty soldier killed two unarmed teenage boys at a checkpoint in San Agustín, department of Huila, southern Colombia. The army said it had opened an investigation into the killing of 14-year-old Joselino Iruá and 15-year-old Emerson Alejandro Dussán on Sunday 15 November. The alleged perpetrator, who belonged to the 27th Infantry Batallion Magdalena, was reported to have fired several shots.

Social media showed video of the two boys lying on the ground, with at least one of them still conscious, as people attempted to help them.

Colombia’s security forces have been implicated in a catalogue of human rights violations under the current administration of President Iván Duque, with a number of court rulings and independent reports criticising their conduct towards civilians. Despite repeated calls from civil society organisations, opposition parties and some international observers for urgent reform of security forces, little has been done to tackle the abuses.

Defence minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo has faced recent calls to resign over the conduct of security forces but retains the backing of President Duque.