The Justice and Peace Law which was intended to bring truth, justice and reparation to the victims of paramilitary violence between 1987 and 2006 has not achieved its goal, Colombia’s Supreme Court said Thursday.
The law was established in 2005 and helped facilitate the demobilization of paramilitary group, AUC. The law granted fighters guilty of war crimes lenient prison sentences in return for cooperating with authorities, providing information about the group and revealing the full extent of crimes they had committed. Other members were excluded from prosecution.
The Vice-president of the Supreme Court, Leonidas Bustos, told Caracol Radio that leaders of the AUC have failed to divulge the full extent of their crimes. Bustos added that “not everything has been said” in relation to the group’s ties with Colombia’s political elite.
Less than a month ago Justice Minister Alfonso Gomez also spoke out against the “half-truths” brought by the law and that it failed to constitute justice for “truly heinous atrocities.”
The AUC was one of the primary actors in the civil conflict that still continues in Colombia today. The paramilitaries are held responsible for thousands of civilian deaths, as well as for committing a host of human rights violations such as kidnappings, torture, extortion, and forcefully displacing tens of thousands of civilians from their homes.
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