Rebel group FARC on Tuesday said that Colombia’s legal framework for peace, a pending bill determining the boundaries of peace agreements with illegal armed groups “plays no positive role in the peace process” currently held with the government.
The guerrillas were responding to recent discussions surrounding the legal framework for peace that was approved in 2012 and is currently being studied by the Constitutional Court.
At the constitutional court’s opening hearing on the legal framework for peace last month, President Juan Manuel Santos stated that the government would not “sacrifice justice for peace” during negotiations with the rebels, whilst acknowledging that the Colombian state had committed “serious human rights violations.”
The FARC however, argue that they should have been involved in these discussions.
“It should be made clear that the government has never considered hearing the insurgencies thoughts on the issue of the legality or parameters of a final peace agreement,” said FARC negotiator Pablo Catatumbo at a press conference in Havana.
“If in fact you are looking for peace, common sense would indicate the legal framework should be the product of analysis and joint decisions, especially if you take into account the dialogue in Havana” explained the rebel leader.
Catatumbo stressed that it would be hypocritical for the government to impose a legal framework for peace without consultation with the group beforehand.
“President Juan Manuel Santos has accepted the existence of an internal conflict, meaning that the rules of war apply to both parties equally,” according to Catatumbo.
“The Legal Framework for Peace is an instrument of transitional justice used by many countries throughout the world , where the winners of a confrontation impose their standards on the losers. In Colombia however, there has been no defeat of the counterpart and nor is it in sight” he explained.
Regarding Santos’ admission that the Colombian state has committed serious human rights violations, the guerrillas argue that this should exclude the government from any role in the legal framework for peace.
‘This acceptance of responsibility removes the legitimacy of the state to be a judge.”
“It is not possible to be both part of the conflict and be the judge of it” added Catatumbo.
The FARC and the government have been involved in peace talks since November in order to seek a negotiated end to a conflict that has lasted almost 50 years.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.
- SOBRE UN MARCO JURÍDICO FUERA DE CONTEXTO (Peace delegation of the FARC)