Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC on Tuesday said that the judiciary does not have the “competence” to judge members of the organization.
“The Colombian tribunals do not have the decorum and the competence, because [the Colombian State] has been a criminal State. The State must have a policy to solve the problem of the war,” said FARC negotiator Jesus Santrich, speaking in Havana, Cuba, where peace talks between the FARC and Colombian government are being held.
In addition, Santrich also criticized the controversial military justice reform, which ceded jurisdiction over crimes committed by members of the military to military tribunals.
The rebel said it was contradictory to extend the reach of military jurisdiction as the conflict could be about to end.
“For this reason we consider it extremely important to attend to the concern that the United Nations’ Council of Human Rights has expressed regarding the military justice reform, indicating the security forces placement under military jurisdiction [of military tribunals increases] the risk of impunity…and in times when [we] search for peace it is absurd to give a letter of marque to those who have executed terrible crimes against humanity in developing the policies of the state,” Santrich continued.
The rebel negotiator said an agreement on the first point of the negotiation agenda, comprehensive agrarian reform, could be presented at the end of this month.
“We have to wait until the first common announcement comes from the table, the important thing is that the conversations are advancing at a better rhythm than you can imagine. We hope there will be white smoke before the end of the month of May.”