The Colombian Constitutional Court has ordered the Government of Iván Duque to guarantee the security and life of ex-combatants of the extinct FARC guerrilla, today converted into a political party by virtue of the agreement sealed five years ago. The high court ruled this Thursday night to restore these rights, in a ruling that gave reason to former guerrillas from various parts of the country who alleged that their lives were in danger and the measures adopted by the Government were insufficient, among other breaches of the agreement by the state.
The peace agreement includes a chapter dedicated to the measures that the State would implement to guarantee the security of the ex-combatants. However, the persistent violence in many Colombian territories threatens the fragile implementation of the agreements with the extinct guerrilla, which has insistently denounced the lack of guarantees. In an environment of deteriorating security, to the incessant killings of all kinds of social leaders, human rights defenders and environmentalists throughout the country, are added those of former rebels who signed the peace: 303 former guerrillas have been killed , according to the United Nations verification mission.
The court declared an “unconstitutional state of affairs”, a mechanism designed to protect the fundamental rights of the population, considering the high number of signatories who have been victims of homicide and the low level of implementation of the rules on security guarantees for demobilized “The Court considered that, in effect, their fundamental rights to life, personal integrity and peace were ignored by the National Protection Unit (UNP) and issued specific orders to restore these rights”, explained the magistrate Cristina Pardo to the read the sentence.
With more than a dozen guidelines, the decision includes the creation of a Special Follow-up Chamber in the Constitutional Court that will verify the orders issued in the ruling to materialize the security guarantee component. It also orders the UNP to reassess in the next four months the risk faced by the signatories of the agreement and those who belong to the Comunes political party which, after being called the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, decided a year ago to leave behind the acronym that identified the guerrilla for more than half a century.
“It is an endorsement of the complaints that we have been making,” assured Senator Julián Gallo, who occupies one of the ten seats in Congress that the agreement guarantees to the Comunes party. “In terms of security, no progress has been made to give full guarantees to the socioeconomic and political reincorporation of the peace signatories,” he stressed.
The decision with fell well in the Executive. “The commitment of the Government of President Iván Duque to the entire implementation process, and in particular to the security of ex-combatants, has been there from day one,” reacted Emilio Archila, presidential adviser for Stabilization, after learning of the ruling. The Duke himself stated this Friday that “the sentence is respected”, but “suddenly what has been achieved in Colombia was not seen in depth.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.