Colombia’s constitutional court is set to reverse President Ivan Duque‘s decision to return a war crimes tribunal bill to congress, according to local media.
According to radio stations La FM and W Radio, who reportedly received the ruling, the court is set to rule that the president had abused his power to object bills, considering that the elements of the statutory law he objected to had already received the court’s approval.
Duque’s decision further plunged his country’s peace process in crisis and was challenged by lawmakers who asked the court to speak out on Duque’s controversial move before accepting his objections for a renewed debate.
The President does have the faculty to object to a Statutory Law under normal circumstances… But in special circumstances, in addition to Article 22 of the Constitution and AL 02 of 2017 (shield of the Final Agreement), there is an argument related to… the objection for inconvenience.
Constitutional Court ruling via La FM
The reported court ruling would be a major blow for Duque, who has fiercely opposed the peace process for years and in particular the transitional justice system that seeks justice for Colombia’s 8.5 million conflict victims.
The war crimes investigations could devastate Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party for its ties to alleged war criminals and businessmen that enriched themselves through the armed conflict with Marxist guerrillas.
Duque’s political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, is investigated for his alleged involvement in multiple massacres and the tampering of witnesses who have testified he formed a brutal death squad that left 4,000 victims in his native Antioquia province.
Multiple top members of the military are also accused of war crimes, namely the mass execution of civilians to inflate the national army’s military successes in fighting Marxist guerrilla groups.
The president’s objections to elements of the war crimes tribunal were fiercely rejected by centrist and leftist parties who have been promoting a negotiated end to the country’s 55-year armed conflicts for years.
Also the United Nations and the European Union, who sponsor the peace process, spoke out in favor of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) that took force last year.