Bogota Colombia – Eight former members of the Colombian rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have pleaded guilty to burglary and other criminal offenses in a security court on Friday.
Former leaders have issued a formal ruling in favor of all charges brought before them by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) tribunal. war crimes as part of a lasting peace.
“As we have repeatedly stated, our motives for kidnapping are absurd,” the former terrorists told reporters on Friday.
Rebels who provide information to the JEP on possible crimes may receive minor penalties.
“In more than 300 pages, we provide a comprehensive, clear and comprehensive response to those affected, who boldly and generously approached the JEP relying on establishing a peace agreement to achieve one goal: an end to conflict and to building lasting and lasting peace. we want to answer their questions and the many disagreements that have been raised during this time, the tone of their voices, ”the activists said.
This was the first time that one of their former bosses, Carlos Antonio Lozada, had confessed to the theft. Some of her friends had already done this. An estimated 21,396 people were arrested or detained by the FARC between 1990 and 2015, according to JEP figures.
Lozada said “this includes ordering the detention and deprivation of civilian rights and militants who have been abducted in the military, for refusing Colombia to accept the exchange of terrorists who have been abducted and deprived of their rights”.
This is the first case of its kind in the JEP, which is being investigated four months ago. Former supervisors charge them with serious offenses such as abuse, torture, disappearance and murder: all connected with theft.
“The FARC was one of the most brutal terrorists in recent history in Latin America. The recognition of their former leaders in the massacre proves this, “Human Rights Watch America’s chief of staff, José Miguel Vivanco, told Al Jazeera.
“The FARC often abuses civilians, including child rearing, abduction, land use bombs, forced evictions and sexual assault. Thousands of people have been waiting for court dates and need to know the facts and find true justice in war crimes,” Vivanco said.
The FARC formed a political party after withdrawing its weapons as part of the 2016 peace agreement with the government. At first they kept their well-known name as the name of the party, they thought change in January, the criticism of the FARC name was strongly linked to the commemoration of a 50-year war that left 260,000 dead and millions displaced. Now known as “Comunes”.
But some believe that today’s sanctions could undermine the FARC’s political system.
“The JEP decision came at a critical juncture, as the FARC is suffering as a political party. Publicly acknowledging the theft – and the atrocities committed by many of them – on the one hand, shows that the FARC is interested in taking responsibility and the JEP is responsible for giving truth, and puts the FARC in a difficult position. for the sake of persuasion, ”says Angelika Rettberg, professor of political science at the University of Los Andes.
For Elizabeth Dickinson, a senior investigator for the Crisis Group in Colombia, the FARC’s unlimited acceptance of these cases is important because it provides a bell of action and justice measures.
The issue of sanctions has been a hot topic in Colombia since the peace accord. Many right-wing players do not agree with the sympathetic sentiment of former FARC freedom fighters, including the ruling party of President Ivan Duque who, unsurprisingly, called for some peace reforms in his first months with sanctions.
“One of the challenges facing the future in the interest of all cases is the issue of sentencing. No verdict has been given, which is why I think all politicians should be based on what they see and other decisions, ¨ Dickinson said, adding that the court may issue other decisions that do not include prison terms.
Dickinson said critics of the court are looking to ensure that the terrorists are fully accountable, and that those adhering to the judicial process will seek further results.
“Then it will be a very political issue and I think it will be a big problem for the court to dispute,” he said.