11 January - 18 January 2019
For The Guernica Group, the work developed by the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and No Repetition (SIVJRNR) of Colombia is essential to carry out and consolidate the Peace Accord. Victims are the central pillar and the guarantee for the need to define the truth and ensure accountability for key episodes of violence committed during the armed conflict, as the basis of long-lasting reconciliation. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) has the potential to develop new legal precedents that could reshape the work of international criminal lawyers and generate a valuable legacy for the whole Latin American region.
Accordingly, The Guernica Group will provide weekly media updates from the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in order to expand the JEP’s outreach and generate debate around the cases, the judicial proceedings and the procedures of the different Chambers. The summary of the news will be published in both English and Spanish, and will include links to the relevant articles:
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) expresses its rejection and deep concern in light of the attack against the Santander General Police Cadet School:
The JEP joins all the voices of rejection for this cruel and inhumane act and supports the victims and their families. The JEP has requested urgent clarification of the events, stating that these violent acts cannot truncate the construction of Peace
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Communication to Public Opinion, 17 January 2019, access at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-manifiesta-su-rechazo-frente-al-attached-against-the-School-General-Santander.aspx
The President of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Patricia Linares, takes stock of what has taken place during 2018, on the anniversary of its first year of operation:
A year ago, the 38 Magistrates of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) were appointed to develop the most important postulates of this jurisdiction agreed upon in the Final Peace Agreement: doing justice, repairing victims, seeking the truth and preventing the violent acts, that left more than eight million victims as a result of half a century of conflict, from ever being repeated. As a commemoration of this event, on 16th January the JEP held an assessment of what happened in 2018 and the challenges it will face for this coming year.
One year after the beginning of the work of the Judiciary, 11,675 people have signed the submission to the JEP; of this total, 9,687 are ex-combatants of the FARC-EP, 1,938 of the Public Force, 38 are State Agents and 12 from Social Protest. On the other hand, the JEP received 168 reports that were delivered by organizations of victims and State entities, on events that occurred in the context and because of the armed conflict, information on which the JEP opened its first 5 major cases. The JEP has also stressed that these advances would not have been possible without the participation of the victims and the international community, and the support and follow-up of the United Nations, the Inter-American Human Rights System and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Patricia Linares remembers that the JEP is "a Jurisdiction of Peace, not of revenge". Click here to discover 10 facts and anecdotes that you did not know about the JEP Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "JEP and victims: balance and projection", 17 January 2019, access at https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-yV%C3%ADctimas.-Balance-and-Projection%C3%B3n.aspx
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "" There are many actions, decisions and actions taken and adopted by the Jurisdiction in the last 10 months, "Patricia Linares, president of the JEP", 17 January 2019, access at: www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Pages/La-JEP-en-una-Jurisdicci%C3%B3n-para-la-Paz-Patricia-Linares.aspx
El Espectador: Drafting Colombia 2020, One year of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, 16 January 2019, access at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/un-ano-de-la-jurisdiccion-especial-para-peace
The challenges of the JEP, according to the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ):
María Camila Moreno, Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), made an intervention in the session organized by the JEP to take stock of its first year, listing the main challenges that will have to face the JEP in the next years. The main challenge, according to the ICTJ Director, is the visibility and legitimacy of the JEP in the eyes of the country.
For ICTJ, it is key that the JEP explains clearly its purpose to investigate, judge and punish all the participants of the conflict, even though the signing of the Peace Agreement has been with the FARC-EP, which includes the demobilization of the old AUC and civilians who participated in the criminal actions that took place within the framework of the armed conflict.
The Director also drew some specific challenges to some of the rooms. To the Recognition Room, for example, she suggested resolutions of conclusions within a year, since public opinion and victims expect results in the short and medium term. Another of the important challenges, according to the ICTJ, is that the Amnesty Chamber or Pardons orient their decisions based on international standards of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law. Finally, Moreno called for attention to identify where the resources will come from to carry out the restorative sanctions in the territories and to guarantee the subsistence of those appearing in compliance with the sentences.
El Espectador: Drafting Colombia 2020, "The challenges of the JEP, according to the ICTJ", January 16, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/los-desafios-de-la-jep-segun-el-ictj
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concludes a working visit to Colombia on the alarming situation of murders of social leaders and human rights defenders:
The IACHR made a working visit to Colombia from November 27 to 30, 2018, in order to verify and observe the situation of human rights defenders in the field. The Commission has repeatedly expressed its concern about the situation of violence faced by human rights defenders and social leaders in Colombia, particularly the serious challenges to guarantee that affect them.
The Ombudsman of Colombia revealed on 10th January that some 172 social leaders were killed during 2018, a fact that leads to 431 homicides being registered in the country since 2016. The JEP has stated that these murders, which mostly related to the defense of lands, damage the peace process initiated in November 2016. The President of the JEP, Patricia Linares, assured that the report delivered by the Prosecutor's Office last week about the murder and aggressions against the social leaders is the starting point for the construction and design of the large cases that the corporation is taking to sanction those responsible for these crimes.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), "IACHR concludes working visit to Colombia on the alarming situation of murders of social leaders and human rights defenders", January 15, 2019, available at: http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/prensa/comunicados/2019/008.asp
More than 170 social leaders killed in Colombia in 2018", January 10, 2019, available at: https://www.telesurtv.net/news/colombia-asesinato-lideres-sociales-defensoria-pueblo-20190110-0034.Html
BluRadio, More than 50% of the murderers of social leaders are captured: Office of the Prosecutor, January 11, 2019, available at: https://www.bluradio.com/nacion/mas-del-50-de-los-asesinos-de-social-leaders-are-captured-fiscalia-202262-ie430
El Espectador: Drafting Colombia 2020, "Assassinations and aggressions of social leaders by the State, in data", January 12, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/asesinatos-y-agresiones-de-lideres-sociales-por-parte-del-estado-en-datos
Sexual violence, a debate that is just beginning in the JEP:
In the early morning of September 2, 2005, three armed men, dressed in camouflage, carrying long weapons and covering their faces with scarves, arrived at the village Pueblitos, located in El Zulia, Norte de Santander. They broke into houses, stole their belongings and sexually abused two women. Orlando Guerrero Ortega, an army soldier responsible for this crime, was sentenced on November 23, 2016. While he was at the prison in Bucaramanga, he expressed his intention to take advantage of the JEP and requested to be transferred to a prison in a military unit, as allowed for by the Law of Amnesty and Differentiated Treatment.
In these cases, the JEP has to face an essential question: when is an act of sexual violence related to the conflict? In the case of soldier Guerrero Ortega, the Juridical Situations Definition Room of the JEP denied him the possibility of transferring to a military unit, in a decision that was not unanimous. The reason was that the military did not meet one of the essential requirements, and that is that the facts have to do with the conflict. The Chamber said that the crime committed by Guerrero was not a consequence of the skills acquired during the conflict and that it did not weigh on the decision to steal and rape the two women.
El Espectador: Editorial Board Colombia 2020, "Sexual violence: a debate that just begins in the JEP", January 14, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/violencia-sexual-un-debate-quejust-start-in-the-jep
The JEP requests a "palabrero or putchipu", a traditional authority through which to issue a judicial decision to a Traditional Authority of the municipality of Uribia:
The JEP has asked the Junta Mayor of Palabreros Wayuu, for the designation of a “palabrero” or "putchipu" to communicate a judicial decision to a Traditional Authority of the Municipality of Uribia, with reference to the indigenous Irguis José Fontalvo Peláez, who is linked to an extradition to the United States for the crime of drug trafficking. In May 2018, Irguis Fontalvo Peláez submitted a petition to the JEP to grant precautionary measures of protection so that extradition was not effective, whilst his situation was being defined by this Jurisdiction.
El Heraldo, JEP uses a palabrero to issue an indigenous decision, January 14, 2019, available at: https://www.elheraldo.co/la-guajira/jep-recurre-un-palabrero-para-emitir-decision-de-indigena-58823
Iván Márquez - ex-commander of the FARC, accuses the Government of Colombia of breaching the Peace Agreement. The Government rejects these criticisms, asking in turn for the JEP to define the situation of Márquez:
Márquez, chief negotiator of the FARC in the dialogues of Havana, reappeared in a video in which he stated that they were wrong to agree on the delivery of their weapons when they trusted that the State would comply with the agreement on the political, economic and social reincorporation of the ex-combatants.
Márquez considered that in the implementation the JEP this trust was destroyed, because whilst it was "conceived for all the parties involved in the conflict", in the legislative and constitutional formalization this has not been the case. "The institutions of the establishment resolved that it was only applicable to the guerrillas and the combatants, excluding from their Jurisdiction the Civil Agents of the State, the perpetrators of violence from the political leadership".
For its part, the Government has ensured that the agreement reached in Cuba has been modified to work for the Special Justice for Peace (JEP). The High Councilor for the Post-conflict stated that "the findings of Iván Márquez in a video made public do not correspond to the facts and do not contribute to the construction of peace". Likewise, the High Councilor asks the JEP to define the situation of Iván Márquez, who has "an obligation to participate in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and is not doing so".
BBC, Iván Márquez, one of the ex-commanders of the FARC, accuses the Colombian government of breaching the peace agreement, January 13, 2019, available at: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-46853867
El Espectador: Drafting Colombia 2020, "Iván Márquez says that the State betrayed the Agreement but will fight for peace", January 12, 2019, available at: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/ivan-marquez-says-that-the-state-betrayed-the-agreement-but-that-will-fight-for-the-peace-article-833699
News Caracol, "Government rejected the criticisms of Iván Márquez against the peace agreement", January 13, 2019, available at: https://noticias.caracoltv.com/colombia/gobierno-rechazo-las-criticas-de-ivan-marquez-front-to-peaceagreement
Caracol Radio, "Government asks JEP to define the situation of Iván Márquez", January 15, 2019, available at: http://caracol.com.co/radio/2019/01/15/nacional/1547507457_295670.htm
The JEP rejects the attack against Alfamir Castillo, a victim recognized in case 003: "Illegitimately presented as casualties in combat by agents of the State":
Last Friday, Mrs. Alfamir Castillo Bermúdez, special intervener and victim of extrajudicial execution of Case 003 as a mother, suffered an attack on a road between Palmira and Pradera, department of Valle del Cauca. Since 2012, Mrs. Castillo has benefitted from precautionary measures provided by the IACHR to protect her life.
The JEP has reiterated to the National Protection Unit (UNP) the urgent request for strengthening the security surrounding Mrs. Alfamir Castillo, in turn requiring the Office of the Prosecutor to immediately investigate the serious facts that threaten her life. To this end, the President of the JEP asked the Attorney General of the Nation to give priority to this new case of attacks against victims of the armed conflict and social leaders committed to the peace process.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "JEP rejects attack against Alfamir Castillo, victim recognized in case 003:" Illegitimately presented as casualties in combat by agents of the State ", and reiterates the request to the authorities to reinforce their protection and advance in the investigations ", January 12, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-rechaza-atentado-contra-Alfamir-Castillo,-víctima-recognized-within-the-case-003.aspx
Extradition of the captured José Castro Chillambo alias "El Doctor", requested by the United States:
Colombia's Defense Minister, Guillermo Botero, confirmed last Saturday the capture of alias, "El Doctor", head of the FARC's residual group, Daniel Aldana. Extradition of "The doctor" (who previously had been admitted to the JEP) is requested by the Government of the United States for crimes of terrorism and aggravated kidnapping.
The Colombian, "Captured alias" The doctor ", dissident requested in extradition by EE. UU ", January 12, 2019, available at: http://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/paz-y-derechos-humanos/capturan-a-alias-el-doctor-disidente-de-las-farc-ND10024119
The Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation headquarters in Bogotá are attacked:
The headquarters of the organization, which supports victims of enforced disappearance, was attacked last Saturday. The President of the Foundation has referred to the attack as "a message of warning and intimidation for her work in denouncing and defending the Human Rights of the victims of enforced disappearance before the ordinary courts and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
El Espectador, "Attack the headquarters of the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation in Bogotá", January 12, 2019, available at: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/atacan-sede-de-la-fundacion-nydia-erika-bautista-en-bogota-article-833765