Colombia’s prosecution has only achieved 41 convictions for the killing and disappearing of at least 299 former FARC guerrillas, according to the United Nations (UN).
The convictions indicate how the Prosecutor General’s Office has failed to effectively investigate the killing and disappearing of former FARC guerrillas and other participants in the peace process.
Since the FARC’s 2017 demobilization and disarmament, at least 278 reintegrating former guerrillas were assassinated, another 63 survived assassination attempts and 21 disappeared, according to the UN.
Assassinations per province
Violence against civilians
Between 2017 and last year, the UN confirmed the assassination of 550 human rights defenders and community activists, of whom many were actively involved in the peace process.
In the course of this year, the UN confirmed the assassinations of another six social leaders and is allegedly verifying another 80.
Additionally, the international observers are allegedly verifying reports on 24 massacres that allegedly occurred in 2021.
These deadly attacks against civilians are taking place in exactly the same regions as the assassinations of demobilizing FARC members, according to the UN and local human rights organizations.
Violence against civilians escalated in May after which at least 80 anti-government protesters were assassinated by members of the National Police and extremist supporters of President Ivan Duque, according to local and international human rights organizations.
Colombia’s failing justice system
The prosecution hasn’t revealed any updated statistics on the mass killing of social leaders since February and progress reports on the investigations of massacres at all.
Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa has also been reluctant to investigate the violence against people taking part in largely peaceful protests against Duque, one of the chief prosecutors’ best friends.
In the case of the violence against demobilized FARC guerrillas, the Prosecutor General’s Office issued 279 arrest warrants for suspected participants in this often deadly violence since 2017, according to the UN.
The criminal investigations have allegedly only resulted in 44 convictions however.
Peace process falling apart
Initial security advances made as an apparent consequence of the peace process have been undone by an increase of deadly violence throughout Colombia after Duque took office in 2018.
Instead of fighting illegal armed groups that are held responsible for the majority of the killings related to the peace process, the government has used its resources to violently crack down on legitimate opposition.
Fighting between these illegal armed group doubled the number of victims of forced displacement to more than 29,000 over the past year, according to the UN.
Contrary to evidence, the Duque administration has insisted that it is implementing the peace process and defeating the illegal armed groups that control much of Colombia’s countryside.