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Weekly Update from The Special Jurisdiction of Peace in Colombia

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

10 - 17 May


The Guernica Group


For The Guernica Group, the work developed by the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and No Repetition (SIVJRNR) of Colombia is essential to carry out and consolidate the Peace Accord. Victims are the central pillar and the guarantee for the need to define the truth and ensure accountability for key episodes of violence committed during the armed conflict, as the basis of long-lasting reconciliation. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) has the potential to develop new legal precedents that could reshape the work of international criminal lawyers and generate a valuable legacy for the whole Latin American region.


Accordingly, The Guernica Group will provide weekly media updates from the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in order to expand the JEP’s outreach and generate debate around the cases, the judicial proceedings and the procedures of the different Chambers. The summary of the news will be published in both English and Spanish, and will include links to the relevant articles.



· The Section of revision of the Special Jurisdiction for peace applies the guarantee of non-extradition to Seuis Paucias Hernández Solarte alias “Jesus Santrich”:


The past 15 May, the Section of Review of the Tribunal for Peace resolved to apply the guarantee of non-extradition in favour of Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, more commonly known as “Jesús Santrich”. This decision was based on the fact that the Section could not evaluate the conduct or determine the precise date of the conduct, given that the Department of Justice of the United States of America did not submit the requested evidence. Furthermore, in the intercepted phonecalls sent by the District Attorney’s Office, the alleged conduct attributed to Hernández Solarte in the extradition request to the United States of America was not disclosed. Similarly, the Section of Review of the JEP ordered the District Attorney of the Nation to arrange for the immediate freedom of Hernández Solarte, determing that this should continue to be available to the JEP, under the conditionality regime, consisting, amongst other things, of contributing to the full truth, non-repetition, non-recidivism and reparation to the victims.


Additionally, through decree 030 of 15 May 2019, the Review Section of the JEP decided to compile disciplinary copies before the Disciplinary Chamber of the Superior or Sectional Council of the Judiciary and the Office of Internal Control of the Attorney General’s Office- as the case may be- as a result of the manifest irregularities in the process of requesting judicial assistance from the American authorities to collect evidence in Colombia against Seuxius Paucias Hernández. According to the JEP, the JEP requested from the District Attorney the documentation that supports the judicial assistance with which the so-called “confidential witnesses” had acted in the Colombian territory. However, the District Attorney did not provide the said documentation, adding that said persons had acted “as individuals”, and therefore no judicial assistance was required.


Finally, the Section pointed out that it will send the file of Hernández Solarte to the Special Examining Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and to the Chamber for the Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of Facts and Conduct of the JEP, so that they may continue with their powers in relation to the case.


Faced with this decision, the Attorney General of the Nation- Néstor HUmberto Martínez Neira- resigned on May 15 after the Special Jurisdiction for Peace decided not to extradite Jesus Santrich. See his full statement here.


Sources:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, “The review Section of the JEP applies the guarantee of non-extradition to Seuxis Paucias Hernández”, 15 May 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/LA-SECCI%C3%93N-DE-REVISI%C3%93N-DE-LA-JEP-APLICA-LA-GARANT%C3%8DA-DE-NO-EXTRADICI%C3%93N-A-SEUXIS-PAUCIAS-HERN%C3%81NDEZ-SOLARTE.aspx


- Special Jurisdiction for the Peace, “The JEP certifies copies for investigating officials of the Office of the Prosecutor for irregularities in the collection of evidence in the Seuxius Paucias case,” 15 May 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-COMPULSA-COPIAS-PARA-QUE-SE-INVESTIGUE-A-FUNCIONARIOS-DE--FISCAL%C3%8DA-POR-IRREGULARIDADES-EN-RECAUDO-DE-PRUEBAS-CASO-SEUX-.aspx


· The Special Jurisdiction for Peace confirms the capture order of Hernán Dario Velásquez Saldarriaga, more commonly known as “El Paisa”, ex-combatant of the guerrilla of the FARC-EP:


15 May, the Room of Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of Facts and Conduct of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) reiterated that it is fully competent to order the capture of Hernán Darío Velásquez Saldarriaga, confirming the order of capture that had been issued on 26 April, as a consequence of the revocation of the benefits of conditional liberty and freedom that Velasquez Saldarraiaga had received from the ordinary courts.


Thus, through Decree 065 of 15 May 2019, the Chamber responded to the appeal for restitution filed by the Attorney General against Order 061 of April 26 2019 which decided the incident of verification of compliance with the regime of conditionality of Velásquez Saldarriaga. The order of capture issued by the Chamber of Recognition established that Mr Velásquez Saldarriaga should be made available to this organ of justice. Finally, the Chamber granted the appeal lodged in the hearing by Velásquez Saldarriaga’s defense counsel, so that his defense could provide support to the appeal in writing within five days of the notification of this Order.


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, “ The JEP confirms the order of capture against Velásquez Saldarriaga”, 15 May 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/La-JEP-confirma-orden-de-captura-contra-Velasquez-Saldarriaga.aspx


· The Colombian High Courts and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace broadcast a joint declaration about the independence of justice in Colombia:


The Constitutional Court, the State Council and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace- tribunals that integrate the judicial power in Colombia- broadcast a joint declaration about the judicial independence, one of the pillars of modern constitutional democracy. In said declaration, the institutions recalled that the independence and impartiality of the judiciary are essential pre-requisites for the effective protective of human rights and the guarantee of a fair legal order, owing to the effective administration of justice acting without favouritism, predispositions or prejudice. The High Courts and the JEP declared the continued exercise of their jurisdictional functions “with autonomy and independence from any outside influence, coming from any source or for any reason.”


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, “Joint Declaration of the High Courts and the JEP about the independence of the judiciary in Colombia”, 14 May 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Declaracion-conjunta-de-las-Altas-Cortes-y-de-la-JEP-sobre-la-independencia-de-la-justicia-en-Colombia.aspx


· The former Attorney General of the nation, Eduardo Montealegre, assures that, in the coming days, he will deliver a study to the International Criminal Court and the Supreme Court of Justice in Colombia that links the ex President Alvaro Uribe Vélez with two massacres:


Eduardo Montealegre, ex Attorney General of the Nation has declared that in the coming days he will deliver the results of a study that will link the ex President with the massacres of Aro and Granja. According to the former Attorney General, the said study will be delivered to the International Criminal Court in La Haya and the Supreme Court of Justice in Colombia. Furthermore, it will be distributed in the same way to the justices of Belgium and Spain where ex-president Alvaro Uribe has been investigated.


Source:

- Caracol Radio, “Montealegre: We will demonstrate the responsibility of Uribe in Massacres,” 14 May 2019, available at: https://caracol.com.co/radio/2019/05/15/judicial/1557878431_700751.html


· Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri- more commonly known as “Timochenko” and Pablo Catatumbo, ex-combatants of the FARC- appear before the JEP for anti-personnel mines:


Last Tuesday, 14 May, ex-commanders of the guerrilla, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (known as ‘Timochenko’) and Pablo Catatumbo were summoned. IN the same morning, Londoño Echeverri presented before the jurisdiction. Thus, before the Chamber of Amnesty and Pardon, the process is advanced by the victimization of anti-personnel mines by the FARC in the municipality of Vista Hermosa (Meta) between 2005 and 2006.


Source:

- RCN Radio, “Timochenko and Pablo Catatumbo appear before the JEP for anti-personnel mines,” 14 May 2019, available at: https://www.rcnradio.com/colombia/timochenko-y-pablo-catatumbo-comparecen-ante-jep-por-minas-antipersonal


· The American relatives of Terence Freitas- American supporter of Indian cultures kidnapped and murdered by the FARC-EP- are accredited as victims before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace:


The past 13 May, the Chamber of Recognition of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) accredited as victims Julie Beth Freitas and Abigail Sonderman Reyes, relatives of Terence Freitas, American citizen kidnapped and murdered by the FARC-EP on 25 February 1999. This same day, the American citizens Ingrid Washinawatok and Laheenae Gay, indigenous citizens that accompanied the indigenous community in the municipality of Cubará, department of Boyacá were kidnapped and murdered.


Julie Beth Freitas, mother of Terence Freitas and Abigail Sonderman Reyes, her partner, had expressly requested to be accredited as special interveners in case 001 called “illegal retention of persons on behalf of the FARC-EP,” during a communication sent to the JEP on 28 March 2019. The relatives of Terence Freitas, as accredited victims, will be able to exercise their rights to receive means of protection, to know the truth about what happened, to justice and restore the damage caused by the crimes.


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, “American victims accredited in the JEP, 13 May 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/V%C3%ADctimas-estadounidenses-conf%C3%ADan-en-la-JEP.aspx


· In the department of Sucre, to date, 200 people have submitted applications of fostering to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP):


Today, in the department of Sure, to date, 200 people have presented applications of fostering to the Special jurisdiction for Peace, some being compulsory and others being voluntary in nature. José Nova, territorial link of the JEP for Córdoba and Sucre, explained that, of these witness, some are ex members of the FARC, ex military and other civil third parties, whose cases are still under study in the jurisdiction. Additionally, Nova has emphasized that it is fundamental that in this phase of knowledge the greatest necessity is the participation of victims through the reports in the Chamber of Responsibility and Truth.


Source:

- The Universal, “In Sucre, 200 people seeks to benefit from the JEP,” 13 May 2019, available at: https://www.eluniversal.com.co/regional/sucre/en-sucre-200-personas-buscan-acogerse-a-la-jep-BA1130102


· The Supreme Court of Justice remits the case of ex-Ambassador Jorge Visbal Martelo, condemned for parapolitics, to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace:


The Supreme Court of Justice has remitted the case of Jorge Visbal Martelo to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. The Ex-Senator of the U Party and Ex-president of the National Federation of Ranchers (Fedegán) was condemned last year by a specialised court to 9 years in prison for his connections with the United Self-Defense of Colombia. The paramilitary leaders who testified against him were Salvatore Mancuso, Ernesto Báez and Don Berna. The judge concluded that the former president of Fedegán and former Senator held various meetings with members of the “Autodefesas” from 1998 until the demobilisation of this armed group in 2006. Similarly, Martelo had financed this illegal armed group in exchange for security for him and his property in Córdoba. Visbal, who was an ambassador for Colombia in Perú during the Government of Alvaro Uribe Vélez, requested to enter this special justice in January of this year.


Source:

- The Spectator, “Supreme Court sends the case of former ambassador Jorge Visbal Martelo to the JEP,” 10 May 2019, available at: : https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/corte-suprema-envio-el-caso-del-exembajador-jorge-visbal-martelo-la-jep-articulo-859794


· Victims consider the challenges in the searched for missing persons at the National Meeting against Forced Disappearance in Medellín:


During 9 and 10 May, the National Meeting Against Forced Disappearance took place in Medellín, Antioquia, in which different social organisations, met to evaluate their work, now that the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and No-Repetition (SIVJRNR) is fully operations. During the meeting they considered the challenges an possibilities that the families of those who have disappeared face in the country. As a matter of fact, Adriana Arboleda, Director of the Legal Freedom Corporation and spokesperson for the National Movement of Victims of Crimes Against the State, projected that the persistence of the conflict and the paramilitary structures are some of the greatest difficulties in the search for an exhumation of those who have disappeared. On the other hand, considering the mechanisms, the challenge identified by the victims is the implementation of the processes of participation and the territorial approach. The victims highlighted that, although the Commission for the Clarification of Truth and the JEP has advanced its presence in the territories, mechanisms and work agendas with the three institutions still need to be established.


Source:

- Contagio Radio, “Victims consider the challenges in the search for those who have disappeared,” 10 May 2019, available at: https://www.contagioradio.com/victimas-plantean-los-retos-en-la-busqueda-de-desaparecidos/


· Omaira Rojas Cabrera, ex-guerrilla known within the FARC as “Sonia,” highlights that Simón Trinidad, who has been detained in the United States, is ready to submit to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace:


In an interview with RCN Radio, Omaira Rojas Cabrera, known within the FARC party as “Sonia,” spoke of her situation before the JEP and of Simón Trinidad, who is being held in the United States. In this vein, “Sonia” assured that, if he is freed, Simón Trinidad as willing to submit to the Special Jursidiction for Peace to provide details about the alleged money laundering for which he was extradited to the United States. “It is one of the tasks and struggles for Simon Trinidad to be returned to Colombia and also for the American government to accede that because he was part of the conflict, he was part of the guerrilla,” declared Sonia.


Source:

- RCN Radio, “Sonia” states that Simón Trinidad is willing to submit to the JEP,” 10 May 2019, available at: https://www.rcnradio.com/judicial/sonia-afirma-que-simon-trinidad-esta-dispuesto-someterse-la-jep


· The assassinations of Colombian social leaders continues to generate alarm in the Organization of the United Nations:


In the words of the spokespersons of the General Secretary of the Organisation of United Nations (ONU), Farhan Haq, “the high number of activists, social leaders and defenders of human rights that were assassinated, harassed and threatened in Colombia causes great concern in the organisation”. Therefore, the ONU calls on the Colombian authorities to make a significant effort to deal with the pattern of harassment and attacks directed against representatives of civil society. Also, it demands that they adopt all the necessary measures to approach the “impunity endemic” that reigns in these cases, said the deputy spokesman.


According to the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in the first four months of this year alone, there has been 51 murders of defenders and activists of human rights, in comparison to the 115 murders documented in 2018. Despite the signing of the Peace Agreement in Colombia, social leaders are persecuted and murdered with an increasing level of impunity.


Source:

- Latin Press, “Murders of Colombian social leaders generates alarm in ONU”, 10 May 2019, available at: https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=275724&SEO=asesinatos-de-lideres-sociales-colombianos-genera-alarma-en-onu


ACTUALIZACIÓN SEMANAL - JURISDICCIÓN ESPECIAL PARA LA PAZ (JEP)

(10 mayo al 17 mayo 2019)


§ La Sección de Revisión de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz aplica la garantía de no extradición a Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte alias “Jesús Santrich”:


El pasado 15 de mayo, la Sección de Revisión del Tribunal para la Paz resolvió aplicar la garantía de no extradición a favor de Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, más conocido como “Jesús Santrich”. Esta decisión se fundamentó en que la Sección no pudo evaluar la conducta para determinar la fecha precisa de su realización, dado que el Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos de América no remitió las pruebas solicitadas. Además, en las interceptaciones telefónicas enviadas por la Fiscalía, no se reveló la supuesta conducta atribuida a Hernández Solarte en la solicitud de extradición a los Estados Unidos de América. Asimismo, la Sección de Revisión de la JEP ordenó al Fiscal General de la Nación disponer la libertad inmediata de Hernández Solarte, determinando que éste continúe a disposición de la JEP conforme al régimen de condicionalidad, consistente, entre otras cosas, en aportar a la verdad plena, la no repetición, la no reincidencia y la reparación a las víctimas.


Adicionalmente, a través del auto 030 del 15 de mayo de 2019, la Sección de Revisión de la JEP decidió compulsar copias disciplinarias ante la Sala Disciplinaria del Consejo Superior o Seccional de la Judicatura y la Oficina de Control Interno de la Fiscalía General de la Nación - según sea el caso - a raíz de las manifiestas irregularidades en el trámite de solicitud de asistencia judicial de las autoridades norteamericanas para recaudar pruebas en Colombia contra Seuxis Paucias Hernández. Según la JEP, la Sección solicitó a la Fiscalía la documentación que soportara la asistencia judicial con la que habían actuado en el territorio colombiano los llamados "testigos confidenciales". No obstante, la Fiscalía no aportó dicha documentación, añadiendo que dichas personas habían actuado “como particulares,” y, por lo tanto, no se requería asistencia judicial.


Finalmente, la Sección señaló que se remitirá el expediente de Hernández Solarte a la Sala especial de instrucción de la Corte Suprema de Justicia y a la Sala de Reconocimiento de Verdad, Responsabilidad y Determinación de Hechos y Conductas de la JEP, para que continúen con sus competencias en relación al caso.


Ante tal decisión, el Fiscal General de la Nación - Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira - renunció el 15 de mayo luego de que la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz decidiera no extraditar a Jesús Santrich. Consulte su declaración completa aquí.


Fuentes:

-Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “​La Sección de Revisión de la JEP aplica la garantía de no extradición a Seuxis Paucias Hernández”, 15 de mayo 2019, disponible en: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/LA-SECCI%C3%93N-DE-REVISI%C3%93N-DE-LA-JEP-APLICA-LA-GARANT%C3%8DA-DE-NO-EXTRADICI%C3%93N-A-SEUXIS-PAUCIAS-HERN%C3%81NDEZ-SOLARTE.aspx


-Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “La JEP compulsa copias para que se investigue a funcionarios de la Fiscalía por irregularidades en recaudo de pruebas en el caso Seuxis Paucias”, 15 de mayo 2019, disponible en: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-COMPULSA-COPIAS-PARA-QUE-SE-INVESTIGUE-A-FUNCIONARIOS-DE--FISCAL%C3%8DA-POR-IRREGULARIDADES-EN-RECAUDO-DE-PRUEBAS-CASO-SEUX-.aspx


§ ​La Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz confirma la orden de captura de Hernán Darío Velásquez Saldarriaga, más conocido como “El Paisa”, excombatiente de la guerrilla de las FARC-EP:


El pasado 15 de mayo, la Sala de Reconocimiento de Verdad, de Responsabilidad y de Determinación de Hechos y Conductas de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) reiteró que es plenamente competente para ordenar la captura de Hernán Darío Velásquez Saldarriaga, confirmando la orden de captura que había expedido el pasado 26 de abril, como consecuencia de la revocatoria de los beneficios de la libertad condicional y libertad condicionada que recibió Velásquez Saldarriaga de la justicia ordinaria.


De esta manera, a través del Auto 065 del 15 de mayo de 2019, la Sala respondió así al recurso de reposición interpuesto por la Procuraduría General contra el Auto 061 del 26 de abril de 2019, que decidió el incidente de verificación de cumplimiento del régimen de condicionalidad de Velásquez Saldarriaga. La orden de captura dictada por la Sala de Reconocimiento establece que el señor Velásquez Saldarriaga debe ser puesto a disposición de este órgano de justicia. Finalmente, la Sala concedió el recurso de apelación interpuesto en audiencia por el abogado defensor de Velásquez Saldarriaga, por lo que la defensa de Velásquez Saldarriaga podrá sustentar por escrito el recurso dentro de los cinco días siguientes a la notificación del presente Auto.


Fuente:

-Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “​La JEP confirma orden de captura contra Velásquez Saldarriaga”, 15 de mayo 2019, disponible en: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/La-JEP-confirma-orden-de-captura-contra-Velasquez-Saldarriaga.aspx


§ Las Altas Cortes colombianas y la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz emiten una declaración conjunta sobre la independencia de la justicia en Colombia:


La Corte Constitucional, el Consejo de Estado y la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz - tribunales que integran el poder judicial en Colombia – emiten una declaración conjunta sobre la independencia judicial, uno de los pilares de la democracia constitucional moderna. En dicha declaración, las instituciones recuerdan que la independencia e imparcialidad de la judicatura son requisitos esenciales para la protección efectiva de los derechos humanos y la garantía de un orden jurídico justo, debiendo la efectiva administración de justicia obrar sin favoritismos, predisposiciones ni prejuicios. Así, las Altas Cortes y la JEP manifiestan continuar ejerciendo sus funciones jurisdiccionales, “con autonomía e independencia de cualquier influencia ajena, proveniente de cualquier fuente o por cualquier razón”.


Fuente:

-Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “Declaración conjunta de las Altas Cortes y de la JEP sobre la independencia de la justicia en Colombia”, 14 de mayo 2019, disponible en: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Declaracion-conjunta-de-las-Altas-Cortes-y-de-la-JEP-sobre-la-independencia-de-la-justicia-en-Colombia.aspx


§ El ex Fiscal General de la Nación, Eduardo Montealegre, asegura que, en los próximos días, entregará un estudio a la Corte Penal Internacional y la Corte Suprema de Justicia en Colombia que vincula al ex presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez con dos masacres:


Eduardo Montealegre, ex Fiscal General de la Nación ha manifestado que en los próximos días entregará los resultados de un estudio que vincularían al ex presidente con las masacres del Aro y la Granja. Según el ex Fiscal, dicho estudio se entregará a la Corte Penal Internacional en La Haya y a la Corte Suprema de Justicia en Colombia. Además, se distribuirá de igual forma la justicia de Bélgica y España, donde el expresidente Álvaro Uribe ha sido investigado.