Special Court for Peace warns of weakening Colombian state authority under Duque administration


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The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Colombia’s independent government entity tasked with overseeing the peace process, issued a new report with an urgent warning that Colombia is suffering “from a weakening of the authority of the State “and that” the presence of dissidents is growing and there is a reorganization of the groups heirs to the paramilitary movements in the territories.

In front of a group of social leaders from the Montes de María region, the delegate of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Verification Mission, Social Pastoral, Mapp / OEA, the Kroc Institute, the Capaz Institute and the Presidential Council for Human Rights, the director of the JEP Investigation and Prosecution Unit (UIA), Giovanni Álvarez, presented details of the new report.

The first alert says that in 100 municipalities in Colombia, state authority is collapsing in a dangerous way. Among the threatened municipalities, Álvarez cited Maicao, Segovia, Ituango, Tibú, Ocaña, El Tarra, Jamundi, Fortul, Puerto Leguízamo, Suárez, Buenos Aires, La Macarena, Montelíbano, Santander de Quilichao, Tumaco, Buenaventura and Argelia, as some municipalities where the situation is more serious.

The second alert draws attention to the fact that “Colombia is going through a phase of reorganization of the historic nuclei of paramilitarism: the Clan del Golfo and new groups claiming the acronyms of AUC and BCB have taken over 1 municipality in 4, and show significant activity in sub-regions such as Urabá Antioquia, Bajo Atrato, Alto Sinú, the southern region of the department of Bolívar, the Sierra Nevada, the southern region of the department of Cesar, Risaralda and the north of Valle del Cauca (La Virginia-Cartago), the Middle -Region of the Magdalena (river), departments of Antioquia, Caldas and Santander.

The JEP, the Truth Commission and the UBPD are exploring ways to ensure the non-repetition of crimes suffered by Colombians during 60 years of conflict.

Finally, lvarez warned that FARC-EP dissidents are the group of repeat offenders or deserters from the peace process that has increased the most in Colombia, posing the main risk of victimization against ex-combatants who have laid down their arms. In this sense, he declared that “the simultaneous presence of the dissidents of ‘Gentil Duarte’ and of the Second Marquetalia increases more than three times the probability of assassinations” of members of the extinct guerrilla groups.

Through the unified risk monitoring mechanism of the Integrated Peace System, which will issue periodic reports for the country, and the relevant authorities, both the JEP, the Truth Commission and the UBPD, are exploring ways to ensure non- repetition of the crimes suffered. by Colombians during 60 years of armed conflict.

During the event, which took place in San Jacinto (Bolivar), the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the Truth Commission and the Tracing Unit for Missing Persons, presented the tool that will serve as a compass for warn of the risks, publicize the atrocities of the conflict and the State to take the necessary measures.

Through this public platform, the three entities strive to have more tools to mitigate the risks of Colombians who actively participate in the transitional justice model. According to the report, since the signing of the Peace Accord, 326 former FARC-EP combatants and 1,026 social leaders have been killed. The death of each of them deprives the victims of the exercise of their rights to justice and to the full truth.

“This tool does not replace the very defense mechanisms that are at the head of the state,” warned Judge Eduardo Cifuentes, president of the JEP. In his opinion, it is necessary that “the other authorities take note of the alerts so that they adopt the corresponding measures”, he declared after recalling that the System asked the Office of the Ombudsman to adopt a resolution of the mediator who establishes a roadmap to put an end to crimes.

For his part, Father Francisco de Roux, president of the Truth Commission, called “to the mayors to protect their people” because “what is at stake and our only reason for existing as institutions of the Integral System for Peace is the responsibility of life. “

On this same shore stood Nadia Pérez, spokesperson for the Search Unit for Missing Persons. “This system has enabled us to identify the risks to the life and freedom of relatives, companions, contributors of information, such as the signatories of the Peace Agreement. This allows us to identify the risks, to contrast them with you on the territory to prevent and mitigate them.

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Thelma J. Longworth