Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday appeared before the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to defend his country against accusations that it allows criminals to enjoy impunity.
Santos told the assembly in New York City that no Colombian sector enjoys impunity and that both the military and civilian institutions of the country are subject to prosecution when suspected of crimes.
“The political class does not enjoy impunity in Colombia and we have given special attention to the behavior of our military and police forces. My commitment as president is that there is no misuse of legal norms,” Santos said.
To support his plea, Santos gave the example of “a military major who last week was sentenced to 32 and a half years in jail for the extrajudicial killing of two civilians.”
The Colombian president was invited to talk before representatives of the ICC member states about the demobilization process of tens of thousands of fighters of both right-wing paramilitary groups and leftist guerrilla groups. This process has been criticized by victim rights groups who say that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity are not being prosecuted justly.