You are currently viewing El asesinato de líderes de derechos humanos es un atentado contra la paz

The assassination of human rights leaders is an attack on peace

In July 2018, alarm bells went off at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The figure of 46 murders of human rights promoters in Colombia during the first quarter of the year was the reason. The statistic, recorded by the Somos Defensores civil society program of the Information System on Aggressions against Human Rights Defenders in Colombia, doubled the number of cases registered during the same period in 2017.

The records of other organizations are no more encouraging. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia counted at least 90 people killed in the same conditions from January to June of this year. According to the information gathered, Cauca, Antioquia, northern Santander, Nariño, Chocó and Valle del Cauca are the areas most vulnerable to these violent events.

The assassination of HR leaders and the Peace Agreement

Apart from the number of cases, the most striking feature of these records is that the majority of these social leaders and human rights defenders played roles in the implementation of the Peace Accord, so the competent authorities in the case point out that the crimes hinder the peace process and democracy in the Colombian country. This evidence is also supported by the 132 cases of aggressions that put at risk the life and integrity of those who defend fundamental guarantees. Even the IACHR denounced the occurrence of acts of defamation against these people, which has promoted situations of hatred through social networks.

IACHR communiqué urges Colombian government to ensure a safe environment The letter states that these crimes harm all those who collaborate with human rights defenders, leaving them in a greater state of vulnerability in the face of violence. Likewise, the letter points out that these crimes harm all those who collaborate with human rights defenders, leaving them in a greater state of vulnerability in the face of violence.

The Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrao, was forceful in stressing that the protection of these people is especially important in countries such as Colombia, where real efforts are being made to implement the Peace Agreement.

Special Jurisdiction for Peace in operation

Since September 2015, efforts were conducted to determine responsibilities violent events that occurred during the armed conflict. The result was the creation of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia which establishes as its main goal to comply with the duty to investigate, clarify, prosecute and punish serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The right to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition is contemplated in all the proceedings of this Jurisdiction.The severity and consequences of the harm caused to the victims are also taken into account. For this reason, each case dealt with must meet the conditions established for these rights.

It should be noted that the Special Jurisdiction will prevail over any criminal, disciplinary or administrative action. The SJP is designed to deal with events that occurred in the context of the conflict. However, this does not prevent the ordinary justice system from continuing its investigations, as well as judging and punishing crimes and conducts that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the SJP. Individuals will be able to exercise their right to defense before all the organs of the Jurisdiction and appeal the resolutions and sentences of the chambers and sections. All decisions of the SJP shall be based exclusively on reliable and admissible evidence.

The beginning of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace

In July 2018, the JEP began the trial stage with the summons of 32 former guerrillas to respond to the accusations. for kidnappings that occurred between 1993 and 2012. The list of those summoned to the judicial body was headed by Rodrigo Londoño and seven representatives of the then Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who were to occupy 10 seats in Congress as of July 20 of this year, as part of the negotiations established in the Peace Agreement.

As stipulated, the JEP will operate for 15 years, with the possibility of extension. and the imposition of sanctions by this Jurisdiction will not have the capacity to disqualify the accused from political participation, will not limit the exercise of any right and does not contemplate extradition in any of the cases.

The SJP is composed of 51 magistrates (38 permanent and 13 alternate magistrates) and 14 foreign jurists. as amicus curiae. Its internal structure is organized into an Executive Secretariat and five organs, namely: Chamber for the Acknowledgment of Truth and Responsibility and Determination of Facts and Conduct; Chamber for Amnesty and Pardon; Chamber for the Definition of Legal Situations; Investigation and Indictment Unit; and the Peace Tribunal, consisting of five sections.

Sources consulted