Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos had a “very positive” meeting with International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda Tuesday, during which Bensouda backed Colombia’s peace process with rebel group FARC, reported Caracol Radio.
Bensouda and the ICC stirred up Santos and advocates of an independent peace process with rebel group FARC when in late August, she was quoted saying, “The most serious crimes of concern to the international community must not go unpunished,” seemingly concerned that assailants of crimes against humanity would be given impunity.
Santos stated adamantly that Colombia “[will determine to what extent it] will allow international bodies to dictate … how to make peace,” and reportedly approached the UN just last week to get pre-approval of any agreement reached between the country and the FARC because of the ICC’s perceived threats to intervene if Colombia doesn’t meet the court’s idea of justice.
But after their meeting in New York City on Tuesday, President Santos confirmed that the two were on the same page and that that he looks forward to working with Bensouda for peace, “she showed a strong willingness to support our peace negotiations with the FARC.”
According to Caracol Radio, Bensouda said that many people had misinterpreted her words and that the ICC wants to help.
“I believe that the best part is her collaborative attitude and her contributive attitude. They do not want to become an obstacle, but rather they want to be an engine of the process,” declared Santos.
CPI respetará autonomía judicial de Colombia en proceso de paz (Caracol Radio)