More than 25,000 paramilitaries have supposedly demobilized and are supposedly confessing the truth of their crimes. President Santos has admitted that the process of a Truth Commission, and the accompanying Justice and Peace Law, is a tool used in post-conflict. However, the president said, it will be applied in Colombia as a way to look for peace and, primarily, to compensate victims.
As a result, Santos said, 40,000 crimes and 2,000 mass graves have come to light. As well as links between nearly 400 politicians and illegal armed groups, and civil servants who have violated human rights.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) looks on with prying eyes. The ICC takes on jurisdiction if a country’s legal system fails, and the ICC is nervous because it is the first such process in the middle of a conflict and without amnesties or pardons. It is an experimental process which the Santos administration defends. It is not impunity, Santos repeatedly says. He has pointed to the example of an army mayor who was sentenced to 32 years in prison for two extra-judicial killings.
What, then, would be the motivation to confess? Certainly, a thug is not concerned with historical memory.
Critics, namely Amnesty International, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as other Colombian and international human rights groups, insist paramilitarism has not been dismantled but re-engineered. Former paramilitaries are allegedly being funneled as paid informers for the state.