In March of this year, president Duque presented 6 objections to the JEP, among which were objections to the principle of ‘no extradition’, guaranteed in the peace accords as a right of the victims so they may achieve justice, discover the truth, and receive reparation.
After intense discussions in the Senate regarding whether these objections should be passed, the president suffered a strong political backlash when they were defeated.
Subsequently, the resignation of the Attorney General occurred when the JEP refused to extradite Jesús Santrich, an ex-commander of the FARC. The JEP appealed to the guarantee of no extradition that is provided to ex-guerrilla fighters and that allows for adequate trials and investigations to take place.
“False positives” and the ghost of a not so distant past
A few days ago, a New York Times article revealed disturbing truths that put the government and Colombia’s military on a tightrope. Its author revealed that an army commander ordered his troops to double the quantity of criminals and rebels killed, captured or surrendered.
The commander also proclaimed that troops could not demand perfection whilst executing lethal operations and that a large margin of error was acceptable if it meant reaching targets. This revelations provoked a storm of death threats directed towards the journalist who had to abandon the country as a result.
This disturbing order creates a scenario where civilians can easily become victims of the army once more, one that is far too familiar after the false positives scandal of the early 2000s, when the armed forces murdered more than 2000 civilians passing them off as guerrilla fighters.
This was an attempt to increase numbers of ‘enemy casualties’ as part of the army’s strategy, something that sounds disturbingly familiar to Colombians reading the recent revelations.
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