Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | June 14, 2012

The Legal Framework for Peace invites the International Criminal Court to Colombia

It is a good thing there is an International Criminal Court: The Legal Framework for Peace, a proposed constitutional amendment, is an amnesty in disguise. It shows the Colombian government is unwilling and unable to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Of the transitional justice bill, now under congressional debate and part of the Legal Framework for Peace, Human Rights Watch concluded, “military personnel responsible for heinous crimes will be eligible to benefit from dropped prosecutions and sentence suspensions. These benefits would even extend to military members responsible for extrajudicial executions known as ‘false positives,’ despite the claim by the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, Roy Barreras, that such individuals should not be eligible since ‘that was never the intention or the spirit of the legislators.’”

The amendment to the transitional justice bill also exempts from criminal prosecution countless guerrillas and paramilitaries responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. As HRW put it, “If Colombia’s Constitution provides guerrilla leaders with the opportunity to avoid incarceration, it is only to be expected that they will demand it—and nothing less—the day they sit down to negotiate with the government.”

International human rights group have gone to The Hague to request that key Colombian officials be prosecuted by the ICC for their participation in the “false positive” scandal.

The International Federation for Human Rights emphasized that “false positives” were carried out with the knowledge and even urging of “army officials at the highest level” who gave incentives to army personnel for such killings. See the press release from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) here.

Related:

Report by the International Federation for Human Rights: “Colombia: The war measured in litres of blood — ‘False-positives,’ crimes against humanity: the impunity of the most responsible.”

Man survives becoming victim of “false positive.”

Scandals of “false positives” reveal army’s human rights abuses run deep

Declassified US docs from 1994 expose policymakers with blinders over eyes

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