Colombia’s largest guerrilla group FARC on Wednesday condemned a proposed constitutional reform that would expand the powers of the military courts at the expense of civilian justice.
The proposed reforms, sponsored by the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, are “expressions of a state model that the people reject,” said a statement by the rebels.
FARC guerrilla “Viviana Hernandez” read the statement to reporters shortly before peace talks with the Colombian government continued in the Cuban capital of Havana.
Despite FARC’s objections, possible changes to Colombia’s military are not on the five–point agenda for the peace process and will therefore not be debated in Cuba.
The proposed modifications pertain to articles 116, 152 and 221 of Colombia’s Constitution and would grant greater investigative power and jurisdiction to the armed forces.
The reform has attracted criticism from human rights groups and the U.N. in recent weeks regarding concerns the proposed changes would lead towards impunity for members of Colombia’s military.
In a letter addressed to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Congress, hundreds of activists expressed their concerns about the proposed reform, claiming it would create, “impunity for serious human rights abuses and undermine international humanitarian law.”
The U.N. also argued that the military reform would send the, “wrong message to the members of the security forces on the consequences of participating in the commission of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”