Colombia’s defense minister has hit back at allegations by the UN that a proposed constitutional reform “undermines justice,” according to local media Wednesday.
“By no means will there be impunity. The intention is to have especially strong judicial investigations…What is sought is less impunity,” claimed Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon Wednesday.
Pinzon’s comments follow accusations by UN human rights experts that a proposed constitutional reform sends the “wrong message to the members of the security forces on the consequences of participating in the commission of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”
In an open letter published Monday, eleven senior delegates from the UN Human Rights Council argued, “the constitutional reform project would effectively undermine the independent functioning of the judiciary by allowing the military justice to investigate, process and judge these crimes.”
The UN representatives were concerned that the proposed modifications, which pertain to articles 116, 152 and 221 of Colombia’s Constitution in regard to military criminal law, would give too much power to the military in investigating and ruling on human rights related crimes.
Pinzon dismissed these concerns saying the amendment is designed to conform “with international standards and international humanitarian law that guarantee human rights.”