The Colombian government on Friday said that the Constitutional Court’s decision to endorse the legal framework for peace, a bill determining the boundaries of a peace agreement with rebel group FARC, is “historic.”
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.
The government, through a communique, insisted that the passing of the bill will allow for such a balance between the rights of the victims and the continued desire for peace.
“The decision of the Constitutional Court to pass this legal instrument allows for a healthy balance between the duty of the state to investigate and prosecute, the obligation to fulfil the rights of the victims and the rights of all Colombian’s for peace,” said the statement.
The government stressed that the passing of this bill was a message to the rebels, that in order to achieve peace, the rights of the victims must be satisfied.
“The success of the current talks in Havana depends largely on this decision taken by the court. This is a message to the FARC and to the entire country, the achievement of a stable and lasting peace implies a recognition of the victims and satisfaction of their rights,” the government emphasised.
The application of the legal framework for peace is however, dependent on the response of rebel group FARC.
“As the legal framework for peace warns, its application, depends on, among other things the surrender of weapons by armed groups, the recognition of responsibility, reparation for victims, release of hostages and the return of recruited children,” cautioned the statement.
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.
Comunicado (President’s office)