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Sunday, 19 November 2017 15:03

Open Letter to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

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To Madame Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
Rome, Italy

Respected Mrs. Chief Prosecutor:

Receive from Colombia, the enthusiastic greeting of the new political party People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force, born out of the development of the Final Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace, signed on November 24, 2016 between the Government of our country and the guerrilla of the FARC-EP.

This Agreement put an end to the longest armed conflict in our continent, through a series of formulas that were agreed, as you know, at the end of five years of deliberations in the city of Havana, Cuba. From its signature, the mechanism for its constitutional, legal and practical implementation was set in motion.

For our part, as just recently certified by the Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs of the United Nations, Jeffrey Feltman, there has been strict compliance with each and every one of the agreed commitments, that’s why we feel that we have the full right to to demand a similar behaviour from the Colombian State.

Many things we could expose against the depressing state of the implementation of the Final Agreement, but that is not the purpose of this letter. Our real alarm, the one that moves us to address you, lies in the recent sentence C-17 issued by the Constitutional Court of our country, which declared the Legislative Act 01 of this year to be constitutional.

This Legislative Act incorporated into the National Constitution the so-called Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition, one of whose most important chapters is dedicated to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, JEP, whose main objective is to satisfy the right to justice of the victims of the conflict.

The Constitutional Court of our country, in the aforementioned judgment, ruled on the constitutionality of said Legislative Act. It is worth noting that the Court's ruling was informed to the public through an official communiqué, which summarises the text of the sentence, but that it has not yet been made public and we will have to wait some time for it.

In the aforementioned statement, the Colombian Constitutional Court, despite declaring the whole Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition to be in conformity with the Constitution, simultaneously declares various provisions of the chapter of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace unconstitutional, creating a series of really worrying situations.

It is in this respect that we request to you, in the most respectful way, the possibility to hold a meeting between delegates from our political organisation and your legal advisors. In our opinion, in accordance with international jurisprudence on the matter, the ruling of the Colombian Court opens the door to impunity, in a clear mockery of the rights of the victims.

The Special Peace Jurisdiction was conceived as an exceptional mechanism of transitory justice, whose objective was not only to put an end to the conflict, but above all to ensure that the impunity prevailing in Colombia in the area of State crimes and serious violations of the international law by third parties in the conflict came finally to an end.

In the Final Agreement, it was consigned by us, the will to appear before this jurisdiction, to offer truth and to supply it completely, to assume the responsibility in what corresponds to us and to comply with the sanctions that may arise due to our actions. In this way we reaffirm our commitment to the rights of the victims of the conflict.

The ruling of the Court excluded from the obligation to submit to the JEP non-military state agents and third parties responsible for serious crimes, leaving their trial to the ordinary justice, justice that in more than fifty years of conflict played the role of a tool of war in favour of the State, indeed being used barely against those violating it.

For this reason, our party has decided to file the Final Agreement signed on November 24 at the Colón Theater in Bogotá between President Juan Manuel Santos and Timoléon Jiménez, commander of the FARC-EP, in the Technical Secretariat of the International Criminal Court, with the aim to be widely known and valued.

In this way we aspire to get the International Criminal Court to weigh, how the Constitutional Court ruling on the JEP and the last minute changes added to the Congress of the Republic, destroy key elements highlighted by international experts for their subjection to the legislation International on war crimes and crimes against humanity.



President of the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force

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