Conservative Colombia presidential candidate demands FARC be tried in international court

Posted on Mar 26 2014 - 8:18am by Rico
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga

A leading candidate in Colombia’s upcoming presidential elections asked Monday that the FARC rebel group be tried before the highest international criminal court for the torture and murder of two policemen earlier this month.

The Democratic Center’s (Centro Democratico) Oscar Ivan Zuluaga called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring Colombia’s largest rebel group to justice for the murders, saying he intends to send a letter to the court’s general prosecutor sometime this week.

Zuluaga labeled the killings “gruesome” and “of the utmost baseness not seen in a while. That cannot go unpunished.”

The candidate then reiterated his demand that President Juan Manuel Santos suspend ongoing peace talks with the FARC because of the murders, according to the Democratic Center’s website.

Santos has so far yet to make any such decision, following a FARC statement last week acknowledging responsibility for the murders. Two officers had been found dead the previous weekend after having been kidnapped and apparently beaten.

The FARC claimed that the guerillas who had captured the police officers felt obliged to execute them because of the extensive manhunt unleashed to find the victims. The rebels were unable to contact superior officers to negotiate a prisoner release and panicked due to the presence of various search helicopters, said FARC Commander alias “Rodrigo Granda” in a statement released on the group’s website.

MORE: UN urges FARC to hand over ‘militants responsible’ for murder of Colombian policemen

Zuluaga’s request for a human rights proceeding echoes calls from the United Nations that the FARC hand over the members responsible for the killings.

The Colombian government has participated in peace talks with the FARC since November 2012. The Democratic Center party, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, have been among the staunchest critics of the peace process since the beginning.

Sources

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