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Friday, 10 February 2017 00:00

"Some seek impunity by changing Special Jurisdiction for Peace"

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The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is part of the Agreement signed between the FARC-EP and the National Government through which all parties of the armed conflict will have to respond to in terms of their actions within the armed conflict. The core aspects are for truth to be known and for there to be reparation to the victims and non-repetition guarantees.

However, this Special Jurisdiction of Peace –as all aspects of the Peace Agreement- requires for it to be properly introduced into the Colombian legal and political system, which is why the Congress is debating and deliberating on it, a process in which certain political sectors –according to Imelda Daza, a spokesperson of the Peace Agreements in Congress- aim at changing aspects of the already agreed Special Jurisdiction for Peace in order to guarantee impunity.

The spokeswoman of the “Voces de Paz” movement (Voices of Peace), Imelda Daza, said that certain sectors in Congress aim "to accommodate the law in a way that a certain dose of impunity for the perpetrators [of war crimes] is possible" and that such arguments have been spread as "a majority opinion" through the media "that denies the truth and only promotes the opinion of those who are violent".

Also read: New members in Colombian Congress in representation of Peace Accord

Daza says that the sector that has most impeded the debate on the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Congress has been "the Colombian political right that participated in crimes against humanity, which has promoted violence linked to paramilitarism" and emphasized that although the Voices of Peace movement has only got the right to speak –but not vote- in Congress, they have made it clear that "it is a priority to respect the life and dignity of the people, the legitimate right we have to participate in this process without being attacked or killed".

In addition, she said that many people that have been found guilty of various crimes in the context of the armed conflict "will have to confess truths in order to benefit from the Special Jurisdiction for Peace" and this could have repercussions on other political figures and actors that have not been tried for such crimes until now.

Also read: Brief guide to understand Peace Agreements in Colombia

She also denounced that in the face of the "violence that overshadows the social and popular movement" the Government of Juan Manuel Santos has not "taken the necessary measures" to clarify the hundreds of assassinations against social leaders during 2016 and the first month of 2017, neither has it taken proper action in order to counter paramilitary groups that have not yet disappeared and that "currently resurrect with a thousand different names in order to continue doing the same things".

The objective of the Special Jurisdition for Peace is to provide truth to the victims

Imelda Daza, commented the essence of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is the establishment of truth for the victims "to pass the page of war and forgive you have to know the truth in order to reconcile". She also indicated that for example there is no point for "those responsible of the genocide of the UP[1] [Patriotic Union] to just rot in jail, we want to know who they were in order to forgive them".

Also read: Patriotic Union: A political genocide

The spokeswoman said that the Truth Commission [which is to be established from the Special Jurisdiction of Peace] is the responsible for "the truth to be known, for the damage to be repaired and for the perpetrators to commit themselves to non-repetition [...] there is no other way to build peace than with reconciliation" she said.

Source: Contagio Radio


[1] The Unión Patriótica (Patriotic Union) was a left wing political party and movement back in the 80s that came about in the midst of an unsuccessful peace process between the FARC-EP and the Colombian Government in head of Belisario Betancourt.

Over 5,000 of the members of the UP were killed by paramilitary groups with State and Government complicity, a genocide that has not yet reached any truth or justice.

Imelda Daza is a survivor of the UP genocide.

You may be interested in: Colombia shall never repeat its tragic history of extermination