The United Nations has urged Colombia’s Congress to make changes to a pending military justice reform to “avoid serious damage” to the country’s international commitment to the protection of human rights, local media reported Tuesday.
Via a seven-page document, the international organization demands changes regarding the judicial process for an estimated 4,000 cases of extrajudicial killings of civilians also known as “false positives.”
FACT SHEET: False positives
The first proposal states that false positive cases should not be retrospective, meaning that they “must be investigated and judged according to the law in force at the time of the court case,” rather than according to the norms at the time of the crime.
Secondly, the UN advise that false positive prosecutions should not take place in a military court, but by “competent entities” within Colombia’s judicial system.
Finally, the document argues that the Inspector General’s Office should be responsible for determining whether “cases of the use of lethal violence” constitutes a crime or not.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, Colombian politician Juan Manuel Galan has claimed the requests hold no bearing on Congress, as the issues mentioned were addressed by reforms adopted last year.
Colombia plans to amplify the jurisprudence of military-run tribunals to prosecute and rule on crimes allegedly committed by members of the military. The reforms are controversial because of military tribunals’ past failure to convict soldiers. Both the UN and NGOs have previously warned the reform may lead to impunity.