While addressing the international community at the United Nations last September, President Santos said, “the right of Colombia, and all nations, to seek peace must be respected. We ask that you continue to accompany us, but respecting our decisions and our way to make peace.”
FARC negotiator Ivan Marquez said, “And what about an International Criminal Court, interventionist and biased, which knows little about the internal Colombian conflict.”
(Back during the failed negotiations at El Caguan, the FARC dismissed international law as a “bourgeois concept” and “nothing they ever signed.”*)
President Santos’s words seem in the same vein as the FARC’s. Can it be possible that President Santos shares with the FARC the disregard for the four core crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression) for which the ICC was created?
However, it is encouraging to hear the issue of impunity for human rights violators is being talked about in Colombia. A former prosecutor at the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, said, “the world is changing and there is a demand for justice.”
In August 2002, six months after the failure of the last round of peace talks with the FARC, President Pastrana ratified the Rome Statute which established the ICC. From then on, the door closed on amnesties and pardons.
* According to Maria Paulina Riveros, assistant to former High Commissioner for Peace Camilo Gomez. (Bogotá, June 2001) Personal interview.