Colombia Congress wants to assure US FARC will not receive immunity

Posted on Feb 10 2014 - 10:44pm by Rico
(Photo: Colombian military)

Colombian congressmen want to forward approved peace legislation to the United States to assure Washington that FARC members guilty of crimes against humanity will not be granted immunity in the event of a peace deal with the government.

Senate President Juan Fernando Cristo is reportedly being encouraged by members of Congress to relay the peace framework to Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States , Luis Carlos Villegas, so that he can promote the importance of the peace talks with FARC, Colombia’s oldest rebel group, through diplomatic channels in the United States.

The Colombian ambassador has already assured the US government that a peace agreement would not include immunity or amnesty to war crimes, but giving the United States access to the actual legal framework for peace would bolster those assertions, claim proponents of the measure.

Those pushing the proposal fear a reduction in US funding, which, according to data on US foreign aid, has amounted to at least $380 million each of the last five years. Villegas himself has reportedly sought to dismiss any pretext for lowering US aid by seconding statements made by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos assuring that impunity will not be granted to conflict actors who have committed crimes against humanity.

MORE: Santos refuses to ‘sacrifice justice for peace’ in Colombia

Nevertheless, the International Criminal Court has expressed concern that the peace process might fall short of international standards in prosecuting human rights abuses and has reserved the right to intervene.

MORE: Santos calls on world to respect eventual peace deal with FARC

The Colombian government was bombarded with international criticism for insufficiently prosecuting human rights abuses following the disbanding of the AUC paramilitary in 2006.

Sources

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