Human rights organization Amnesty International said Monday that a deal between FARC rebels and the government to include conflict victims in ongoing peace talks “fails to guarantee victims’ right to justice.”
According to the human rights group, a lasting peace won’t be achieved unless those responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes are brought to justice.
|“The sky-high levels of impunity have been one of the reasons why the conflict has endured for so long.”|
The FARC and government negotiators announced on Saturday their commitment to include victims of the armed conflict at the negotiating table. The 10-point plan covered the recognition of victims, victim participation, right to truth and reparations, but failed to mention justice.
Several of the points of the agreement seem to touch upon the topic of justice for victims like the satisfying of victim’s rights and recognition of responsibility. However, there is no point explicitly dedicated to justice. Also in a pre-talks deal, the negotiating teams failed to mention justice.
Colombia’s researcher at Amnesty International, Michael Pollack said the decision to include victims in the peace process was “a great step forward,” but adding that, “the devil is in the details. Any agreement that fails to ensure those suspected of criminal responsibility for abuses face the courts will be incomplete and fragile.”
Talks will continue after a second round of presidential elections on Sunday in which incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos faces hard-line opposition candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who has repeatedly called for the FARC to be punished for crimes committed during the 50-year-long armed conflict between rebels and state.
Pollack insists that more must be done to ensure justice for the victims stating “The sky-high levels of impunity have been one of the reasons why the conflict has endured for so long. The perpetrators know that they can simply get away with it.”
Amnesty International recognizes that security forces, paramilitaries and guerrillas are all victimizers, and calls for the state to “bring to justice those suspected of criminal responsibility for human rights abuses and violations.”
- Historic Colombia-FARC declaration fails to guarantee victims’ right to justice (Amnesty International)