Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe spoke out Thursday against a proposed constitutional change that could mean demobilized paramilitaries and guerrillas would be able to stand for election or hold public office.
In September, Senator Roy Barreras, with the support of President Santos, proposed the modification of the Colombian constitution that defends the rights of those who demobilized through a government peace process.
Barreras wants article 122 of the political constitution to be overturned. Article 122 states that anyone convicted of belonging to, promoting or financing illegal armed groups or of crimes against humanity or drug trafficking cannot stand for public office.
Barreras hopes that the reform will result in massive demobilizations and “bring a new dawn of peace.”
However, Uribe urged Congress to reconsider the reform on the basis that Colombian politics “should not include those who are responsible for heinous crimes or crimes against humanity.”
On his Twitter account, Uribe commented that “there is no reason to turn murderers and kidnappers into election candidates,” because of the constitutional change.
In his plan for peace, Uribe hopes the Colombian government will continue to recognize the conflict in such a way that does not undermine it’s victims.
He says that it is important to not “give more signals in contrast to our democracy that justifies or legitimizes terrorism.”