The International Criminal Court has its eye on the FARC guerrilla force regarding recruitment of minors into their ranks and the continued taking of military and police hostages, stated Colombia’s ambassador to The Hague.
The ambassador, Francisco Lloreda, made Tuesday’s statements following the termination on November 1 of the seven year safeguard that the ICC has held with Colombia since its establishment by former President Andres Pastrana and then maintained by current President Alvaro Uribe.
This safeguard meant that since 2002 the ICC could intervene and prosecute in cases involving suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Colombia.
Lloreda emphasized that hostage-taking and the recruitment of minors into army ranks were sensitive issues for the ICC and thus regarding these the Court will keep Colombia under observation, reported news station Radio Santa Fe on Tuesday.
The Ambassador stressed on Monday that the Court will only intervene in Colombia when there is a failure by the State to bring war criminals to justice.
However, Lloreda warned that war crimes committed prior to 2002 by guerrillas, paramilitaries and other subversive groups will not be investigated nor judged by the ICC because the Court is undertaking action towards the future and not the past.
According to Lloreda, the investigations being carried out in Colombia at present do not require the ICC’s intervention and he stressed that no future peace process in the country will be achieved by amnesty or pardon and the bosses and members of armed groups can no longer evade prison sentences for the crimes they have committed.