Colombia’s senate asked the constitutional court on Thursday to rule whether or not Congress’ high chamber rejected President Ivan Duque’s objections to the country’s peace process.
The center right voting block refused to take part in a second vote on the statutory law that defines the powers of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) after four days of agitated marathon debates.
According to far-right Senate president Ernesto Macias (Democratic Center), the majority coalition failed to obtain the 48 necessary votes to reject the objections of President Ivan Duque, who is also a member of the CD.
Spokesperson of the parties that represent the majority of Congress said that Macias’ interpretation of the law was self-serving and that the 47 – 34 vote to reject Duque’s objections was binding.
All parties agreed to ask the Constitutional Court to define who is right.
According to judicial experts, the “pro-peace” coalition effectively won the vote because Macias, who allegedly never finished high school, included the seat of Conservative Party Senator Aida Moreno, who is in jail for election fraud, in the voter count.
The war crimes tribunal has long been controversial because it does not only investigate war crimes committed by demobilized FARC guerrillas, but also by the security forces.
This could lead to criminal investigations against thousands of politicians and businessmen that sponsored paramilitary groups whose umbrella organization AUC was declared a terrorist organization by the US in 2001.
One the most prominent alleged terrorism promoters and supporters is former President Alvaro Uribe, the leader of the CD.
The United Nations, which monitors Colombia’s peace process, reiterated its call to urgently approve the JEP’s statutory law.
While without a law that defines its powers, the JEP began investigating war crimes more than a year ago and is expected to provide justice to the more than 8.5 million victims of the armed conflict.