With transitional justice up for discussion, peace talks appear to have hit an impasse
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With transitional justice up for discussion, peace talks appear to have hit an impasse

Reposted with permission from Talking About Colombia

The deputy prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, James Stewart, traveled to Colombia recently. Again, he highlighted that those responsible for heinous crimes need to be punished.

Stewart said the ICC continues its “preliminary examination” of Colombia’s possible transitional justice.

The ICC is the only judicial body with the power to intervene. Besides the crimes committed by the FARC guerrilla group (and the ELN, should they start peace negotiations), Stewart also expressed concern for the extrajudicial killings, known as false positives, committed by the military, and for the horrific sexual crimes committed by the paramilitaries.

Likewise, Colombia’s Attorney General Alejandro Ordoñez said justice cannot be a staged farce but must respect the minimum international standards of justice.

The business community also asks for a stronger judicial system. As the president of the financial Group Sura, David Bojanini, put it: “If we don’t have a solid judicial system, it is very difficult for the country to have peace. Now we speak of not accepting impunity and of transitional justice, but if we don’t have ordinary justice we will not have transitional justice.”

A loss of confidence for the future of the peace negotiations has surfaced from the fact that the Santos government has not yet expressed, even hinted, how transitional justice will be applied to the FARC, and possibly the ELN, as well as the paramilitaries and military involved in heinous crimes.

See also: As Colombia’s peace talks progress, communities call for truth and guarantees

The world cannot forget when FARC negotiator Jesús Santrich was asked if the FARC would ask forgiveness from their victims. He replied, “maybe, maybe, maybe.”

Continue reading at Talking About Colombia