The plan to try to avoid a blockage of the legal system because of the mass prosecution is against several previous rulings of the country’s higher courts.
Chief Prosecutor Mario Iguarán’s conclusion is a heavy blow for the national government that’s desperately has been trying to find its way out of the “legal limbo”.
The Uribe administration wanted to make the membership of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) a political offense and only prosecute those paramilitaries who were involved in crimes against humanity or drug trafficking.
Having to legally process all members of the AUC indiscriminately could seriously cripple the country’s legal system, the government says, adding that they are breaking the promises made during the peace talks with the AUC. During the demobilization of the paramilitaries, they were promised to be pardoned if they disarmed.
Luis Carlos Restrepo, Colombia’s High Commissioner of Peace, said he respected the prosecution’s decision, but added it was taking away the tools the government needed to advance in the peace process.
One of the possible escapes from the “legal limbo” would be to allow the prosecution to pardon those who have collaborated with the Justice department, Iguarán suggested, while explaining the situation to Colombian congress.
Restrepo doesn’t see this as a solution. He states the government would then also have to involve the prosecution in all future negotiations held with demobilizing armed groups, avoiding offered peace deals could prove worthless in court.