Supporters of peace warn UN that Duque is “trying to seriously damage” war crimes tribunal
Former peace negotiators, politicians, social leaders, victims and academics wrote the United Nations on Monday, claiming President Ivan Duque is “seriously damaging” Colombia’s peace process.
The hard-right president on Sunday announced he would not sign off on the statutory law that defined the powers of the war crimes tribunal that is part of the peace process.
Instead, he said he would ask Congress to revise the 2017 constitutional amendment that created the Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
“We want to express our serious concerns about the attempts to seriously damage the JEP, as well as the system to honor the rights of victims,” the more than 100 opinion leaders wrote UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
We are aware of the meaning the success of the peace process and its transitional justice model has for our country and the world. For all these reasons, we ask that in the next report of the UN Verification Mission the Security Council is made aware of the events mentioned in this writing.
Victims, politicians and social leaders
Duque on Sunday said he would not sign off on the statutory law that has been opposed by his controversial political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, and the conservative and far-right members of his Democratic Center (CD) party.
The move was the biggest blow to the process that began in 2016 after former President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist FARC guerrillas signed a historic peace agreement that sought to end more than half a century of armed conflict.
The CD, which is led and closely tied to alleged war criminals, has opposed transitional justice since Santos, the FARC and victim organizations reached a preliminary agreement on justice in 2014.
Because Duque and his coalition have no majority in Congress, it is uncertain if the legislative branch will accept the return of the statutory law was already signed off on by the Constitutional Court.