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Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Friday, 03 November 2017 14:35

If War meant Impunity, Peace should mean Justice

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Only 10% of the provisions of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), an essential component of the System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (SVJRN) contemplated in the Peace Agreement, has been implemented in legislative and institutional terms.

This is shown in the special report released by the Observatory to Monitor the Peace Agreement (OIAP) titled ”If War meant Impunity, Peace should mean Justice”. The report was delivered to MPs during the session of the Senate of the Republic dedicated to the discussion of the Law statute that regulates the JEP.
According to the report, progress has been made in the regulation of the System, in the selection of the judges of the JEP and the designation of the director of the Search Unit for Missing Persons, but the same does not occur with the measures of reparation and guarantees of non-repetition, that present a minimum development.
The statutory law that regulates the JEP advances "in a slow and tortuous way" in a scenario that becomes more and more difficult as the elections for Congress and Presidency are approaching and at a time when the Government coalition is dissolved, the report adds.
The study warns that the implementation of the JEP should be articulated to other points of the Final Agreement such as the Integral Rural Reform (Point One), the guarantees for political participation (Point Two), the reincorporation and the security of former guerrillas (Point Three) and the solution to the problem of illicit drugs (Point Four), if there really is a commitment not to repeat the cycles of violence.
The implementation of Point Five of the Agreement, referring to Victims, has advanced in the approval of a Legislative Act (01/2017) and two government decrees (587 and 1592) but "the approval and regulation of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is in danger due to the growing political opposition in the Congress of the Republic and a hostile environment built on falsehoods or half-truths”, the report points out.
The Observatory warns that the JEP is a model of transitional and restorative justice unprecedented in the country, which seeks a balance between the rights of the victims, the participation of former combatants who abandoned arms to exercise politics and the construction of peace, and that this model is monitored by the international community. The report includes a comparative framework of Justice applied in peace processes in countries such as El Salvador and South Africa and in peace processes agreed in Colombia since the 1990s. In light of this exercise, the SIVJR turns out to be a guarantee exercise, a global example of historical balance between peace and justice.
The OIAP report states that people who laid down their arms and have responsibilities in war crimes and crimes against humanity may exceptionally exercise the political right to be elected, after expressly expressing their consent to the Peace Jurisdiction as indicated the Agreement.
However, the statutory law that is being discussed in Congress must clarify how a popular election role can be exercised and, at the same time, abide to the restrictions imposed by the Peace Court, the Observatory report indicates.
Finally, the OIAP draws attention to the danger that the denial or collapse in Congress of the statutory bill that regulates the JEP implies for the implementation of the entire Agreement and points out that, in that event, the President can go to the declaration of internal commotion as a last resort to preserve peace as supreme right and guarantee the implementation of the Agreement.
However, this mechanism can be counterproductive if it is used to change the central aspects of the Peace Agreement through decrees, included against the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court, affirms the OIAP.