An organization representing victims of Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict insisted before the country’s constitutional court of the need to have a representative at the ongoing peace talks in Cuba between Colombia’s government and the FARC guerrilla group, national station Caracol Radio reported on Tuesday.
Aside from representation in the peace talks with Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the representative of National Victim’s Movement, Jorge Vasquez, also asked for a national conversation to know the position of the 32 states with regards to the transitional justice law passed by Santos in 2012.
The law permits the demobilization of armed groups while providing victims the right to justice, truth, and reparation, according to the transparency project Congreso Visible. The law hopes to make the process of the judicial branch more efficient in prioritizing and classifying crimes committed by armed actors. However, critics say the law can lead to impunity.
The law also permits demobilized individuals to run for public office and serve in the government if approved by the national government.
A representative of the National Victim’s of State Crimes Movement also declared her desire to see political participation of victims to ensure human rights abuses don’t repeat themselves.
Angela Ceron, representative of the Women for Peace movement said that reparation to victims must consist of the guarantee that there will be no impunity. She also reminded the court that international law does not allow for the amnesty and pardon of crimes against humanity and sexual assaults, Caracol Radio reported.
The peace talks between Colombia’s government and the FARC rebel group began in November 2012 and are currently heading in a precarious direction as incumbent president Juan Manuel Santos fights for his presidency in the upcoming presidential election run-off against opponent Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, a staunch critic of the dialogues with the rebels.