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News from Havana, Cuba

Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

Victims demand Congress to maintain the essence of the Peace Agreement

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The armed conflict in Colombia has left a series of victims from all parties of the conflict; on the contrary to what mainstream media and political discourse make believe, numerous investigations have shown that the vast majority of victims of the armed conflict have been caused by paramilitary and State violence rather than that of the insurgencies.

The FARC on its side throughout the peace process and as expressed in the Final Agreement, has made the commitment to recognize its victims, tell the truth and context of these situations, adhere to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace sentencing, develop individual and collective forms of reparation and guarantee non-repetition.

All the aforementioned is contemplated within the Peace Agreement which has the victims at its core and should be developed toward all actors and parties of the conflict in order for all victims to access this system of justice, truth and reparation.

On that note, victim organizations and human rights defenders urgently called on Congress to "keep up with the historic and political commitment" following the decision of the Constitutional Court that opens the door to profound changes in the agreed.

The victim and human rights organizations called all members of Congress to prioritize the process of laws that ensure implementation [of the peace agreement], maintaining the essence of what was agreed in the Colon Theater and the centrality of the victims.

During a press conference, the victims demanded that the reform to the Victims and Land Restitution Act to be passed, as agreed in the Peace Agreement and that it include the proposals that had already been made in terms of reparation to the victims of the armed conflict.

Victims Law and Collective Reparation

The victims demanded that the government recognize the victims who are abroad and regulate the rights for this population, as well as the procedures for their care, assistance, comprehensive reparation and voluntary return to the country.

Likewise, they call for the strengthening of the "differential approach", including a territorial approach, so that, in conjunction with the gender approach, the proper care and reparation measures get applied. They also stated that it is important to include the principle of non-regression, which means that the rights of victims are intangible.

Regarding the guarantees of non-repetition, the victims pointed out that these should be included in the agreement as "a real commitment by the government", through the implementation of concrete measures to transform the conditions that have allowed victimization.

Likewise, the victims reiterated the need to create a Public Policy for Comprehensive Psychosocial and Health Care for victims, to reopen the Single Victims Registry for a period of time of 5 years and to develop provisions for the regulation of the Program of Collective Reparation with the participation of the victims.

Reference: Contagio Radio