Paramilitary fighters who demobilized under the Justice and Peace Law will be released if not tried by 2014, the Organization of American States (OAS) warned Colombia’s Justice Ministry Thursday.
“By 2014, the majority of people nominated today for Justice and Peace, will be released without having been convicted,” the OAS said in a letter to Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra, Colombian media reported.
The OAS stressed that it was important to take “into account the special social and political impact that the armed conflict has had on certain social groups, communities, and peoples.”
The reform of the Justice and Peace Law has been a source of debate in recent months.
The president of the Congressional Peace Commission argued in July that failure to reform the Justice and Peace Law will result in the release of 1,300 former paramilitary fighters.
Senator Roy Barreras explained that of the 1,700 paramilitary members awaiting trial, 1,300 have not been officially charged and 400 have been charged but not convicted. Only four paramilitary fighters have actually been convicted of crimes against humanity.