Colombia army general promoted amid human rights concerns

The head of Colombia's army has been promoted amid criticism that an order he issued could spark a return to serious human rights violations.

The nation's Senate voted Wednesday to make Gen. Nicacio Martínez a four-star general.

The move comes as human rights groups clamor for Martínez to step down after revelations he ordered troops to step up attacks on leftist guerrillas and criminals.

The order stirred fears of a return to the "false positives" scandal during the height of the nation's conflict with guerrillas. Troops are accused of killing innocent civilians and disguising them as guerrillas in exchange for extra pay.

Documents from Colombia's prosecutor's office show Martinez signed off on questionable payments to informants during that time. In one case, a 13-year-old girl was killed.