Colombia’s president reiterated that the armed forces will have the same legal benefits as FARC guerrillas in an eventual peace deal but also announced the creation of a fund to hire prestigious lawyers to defend military members charged of crimes.
President Juan Manuel Santos has been making it clear, in his visit to the Larandia and Coveñas military bases, that the armed forces that they will not be persecuted anymore than the FARC.
Santos stated “we went to explain what some have been saying: that how is it possible that you are joining military soldiers with member of the FARC in judicial matter. Well that is exactly what the military wants which is that what we have seen repeatedly doesn’t happen again: that military members end up serving jail time if they made a mistake during the conflict and the guerrillas stay on the streets. That is unjust for the military.”
The president says that military gaining access to legal benefits in any judicial process “is perfectly possible and that is what is going to happen.”
Government hires “prestigious lawyers” to defend military
Santos also announced that he has created a special fund to hire “a group of lawyers of high prestige” to defend soldiers who have been falsely accused of crimes.
“With or without La Havana, the members of the armed forces need to be defended in the judicial courts from false accusations,” according to President Santos.
President Santos exclaimed “many times, war isn’t only on the battlefield. They are also fought in the tribunals and political environment. There is political war, judicial war, and real war, and in all those we must defend out men.”
The Colombian government is currently in peace negotiations with the country’s largest rebel group, FARC. Impunity has been a controversial topic which applies to the the FARC guerrillas as much as it does to the Colombian military.