More than 26,000 homicides have been identified through Colombia’s Justice and Peace process, which offers paramilitaries reduced sentences in exchange for revealing the truth about their crimes.
“The results of the application of the Justice and Peace law reveal that 26,000 murders have been identified, 44,000 crimes confessed, and 3,000 bodies discovered in mass graves, of which 1,000 bodies have been returned to their families,” said the president of the National Reparation Commission, Eduardo Pizarro, on RCN Radio.
Pizarro said that the main criticism of the Justice and Peace law has been that it only applies to those who actually carry out crimes, rather than the paramilitary bosses who ordered them, but “five years later it is clear that the big hit are the paramilitary commanders.”
During the interview Pizarro also announced that on October 25 the Reparation Commission will meet with the Inter-American Court of Rights in the Hague, “which has recognized that Colombia has made progress on issues of truth, justice and reparation.”
The Justice and Peace process has been heavily criticized for allegedly allowing paramilitaries impunity for their crimes. Colombian website Verdad Abierta reported in June that given the current rate of dealing with demobilized paramilitaries, the majority of the fighters will be released from prison in three years, after serving eight years, having never been convicted of a crime.