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Thursday, 10 November 2016 00:00

Guiding principles of the Final Agreement must be preserved

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The spirit and core aspects of the Final Agreement reached between the FARC-EP and the National Government must be kept according to an open letter of jurists, academics, NGOs, institutes and professors.

After the triumph of the NO-vote to the Peace Agreement in the national plebiscite this past October 2, the Peace Process has entered a renegotiation phase in order to modify the agreement and present a new one with the inclusion of the concerns and proposals presented by the NO-camp representatives.

Also read: "The plebiscite was not necessary to legitimize peace, much less to delegitimize it"

Government negotiators arrived in Havana with a package of more than 400 proposals presented by the NO-camp representatives in order to modify the agreement; in the midst of this process of renegotiation, a group of legal entities and personalities sent an open letter to the Peace Talks stating that "some of the guiding principles of the final agreement must be preserved".

The main concern regarding this renegotiation is related to the setbacks that a new agreement could mean to the rights of victims and the social and political conquests achieved in the previous agreement, for which the open letter outlines 21 “political and legal propositions that intend to conciliate the Final Agreement with the proposals of the NO-stand representatives”

Also read: Progress report of talks in Havana

Regarding the Comprehensive Rural Reform

The experts consider that the agreement is in line with the constitution and the law; and that in light of the concerns of certain sectors, the agreement should clarify the respect for private property and make the respective clarifications regarding issues such as the Land Fund and Peasant Reserve Zones.

The lack of these explicit clarifications was used by the NO-camp in order to state that the Final Agreement attempts against private property, something that has been denied by all national and international jurists and experts that have reviewed the agreement.

Regarding the Political Participation

As for political participation, the experts propose an alternative so that the rights of former combatants are gradually recovered, once the effective enforcement of the imposed sanctions is verified.

Also read: Brief guide to understand Peace Agreements in Colombia

Regarding the Special Jurisdiction for Peace

The experts propose some alternatives such as advancing in the issuance of an amnesty law; they also believe that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace must be preserved as an autonomous and independent body from the ordinary justice system.

The document calls to make certain precisions to the agreement such as "the conditions of compliance with the effective restriction of freedom", one of the most questioned points by the detractors of the agreement.

Regarding the Gender Perspective

Lastly, the letter calls for clarification that the gender perspective does not endanger the family or religious freedom. This is due to the fact that the NO-camp promoters have repeatedly stated that the gender perspective on the Final Agreement attempts against family and religious values.

Read full letter in Spanish here

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