Updated: Mar 19, 2019
1 March - 8 March
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:
In Colombia, 1st of March to 8th of March 2019
Human Rights Organizations request the Special Jurisdiction for Peace to investigate General Adolfo León Hernández for false positives in Cesar:
The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (CAJAR), the Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) and the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ) requested the Special Peace Jurisdiction Recognition Chamber (JEP), through the presentation of a report, calling General Adolfo León Hernández Martínez to give his version of what happened with 23 cases of people presented as guerrillas killed in combat by members of Artillery Battalion No. 2 "La Popa", which he commanded between December 2007 and June 2009. The report, entitled "What future awaits us?", was carried out by the three organizations and delivered to the JEP on Thursday, March 7. The homicides occurred mainly in Valledupar, Pueblo Bello, San Diego, Copey, Codazzi and Bosconia, in Cesar. In the commission of false positives, the report points to the existence of patterns and a concrete modus operandi that facilitated concealment and impunity.
El Espectador, "Human Rights Organizations ask the JEP to investigate General Adolfo Hernández for false positives in Cesar," March 7, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/organizaciones-de-ddhh-piden-la-jep-investigar-al-general-adolfo-hernandez-por-falsos-positivos
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace opens case 007: Recruitment and use of children in the Colombian armed conflict:
The Recognition Room made this decision based on three reports submitted by the Attorney General's Office: (i) Inventory of the internal armed conflict (ii) Linkage and use of Children and Adolescents by the Farc-EP and (iii) the report “Violence based on gender committed by the FARC-EP”.
Case 007 prioritizes the investigation of the events that occurred between January 1, 1971 (the date that corresponds to the first case of illicit recruitment reported by the Prosecutor's Office) and December 1, 2016. However, these dates may vary, if in the development of the case there are elements present that make it advisable to include behaviors committed prior to the aforementioned date.
The Recognition Room considered the recruitment of children belonging to indigenous, Afro-Colombian, black, palenquero, raizales and Rrom peoples to be especially serious, who were caused special damages by the means adopted by the recruitment and use of children within the armed conflict, associated with the loss of their cultural identity and their role in the community. Finally, the Recognition Room calls on more civil society organizations to complement the information available for this case through the presentation of reports.
To read the opening case of case 007, click here aquí.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "JEP opens case 007: Recruitment and use of children in the Colombian armed conflict", March 6, 2019, available at:https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-abre-caso-007-sobre-reclutamiento-y-utilizacion-de-ni%C3%B1as-y-ni%C3%B1os-en-el-conflicto-armado.aspx
Edgar López Gómez - known as 'Pacho Chino', former commander of the FARC-EP - appears before the JEP:
On Wednesday, March 6, Edgar López Gómez appeared before the JEP's Recognition Room, after which this jurisdiction ordered the 31 members of the General Staff of the guerrillas to render a version in the framework of # caso001 (kidnapping). Édgar López Gómez was commander of the front 29 and coordinator of the Joint Command of the West.
This version, as well as those granted by Pastor Alape Lascarro, Pablo Catatumbo, Rodrigo Londoño and Fabián Ramírez, are being used to gathe information to contribute to the search for the truth within # Caso001.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Official Twitter, March 6, 2019, available at: https://twitter.com/JEP_Colombia/status/1103422501764374531
The section for cases of Absence of Recognition of Truth and Responsibility (SARV) of the JEP advances in the process of studying the request for precautionary measures from 16 places where there would be graves of missing persons:
The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movice), seeks the care, protection and preservation of 16 places of the national territory located in Antioquia, Caldas, Cesar, Santander and Sucre. In these areas there are thought to be the bodies of possible victims of enforced disappearance. Within the framework of these actions, which have been defined since September 14, 2018, the Section linked to the Unit for the Search of Persons Disappeared (UBPD) and established that, in order to resolve the request for precautionary measures, it must have the largest amount of possible information, about the location, conditions and possible risks of access and maintenance of each of these places.
To date, the Section has information sent by governors, city halls and the Attorney General's Office, among other institutions, all of them linked to the process of requesting precautionary measures, through the order of November 9, 2018. However, the Section considered that this information is not yet sufficient to advance its actions. Therefore, through the auto 02 of February 28, the Absence of Truth and Responsibility of the JEP Section made a series of requirements that can be consulted here.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Proceedings to request precautionary measures from 16 places where there will be graves with missing persons progress," March 6, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Avanzan-actuaciones-por-solicitud-de-medidas-cautelares-de-16-lugares-donde-habr%C3%ADa-fosas-con-personas-desaparecidas.aspx
The JEP requests an international expert to work on issues of enforced disappearance in the Hidroituango area:
The JEP in its order 002 of February 28, 2019 has requested an international expert, with experience in the search for bodies of possible victims of enforced disappearance, with the aim of being able to contrast the works carried out by the companies Falcon High Tech and Socya.
The first is a Spanish company that was hired to advise the search for people reported missing in the city of Medellin, especially in La Escombrera and the Universal Cemetery, where victims organizations and some ex-combatants of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) have stated that the disappeared of the Orion operation, among others, were taken. The second company is Socya, a foundation that, according to the JEP order, entered into a contract with Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) and the Attorney General's Office to locate possible places of burial in sites of interest for the Hidroituango project.
Additionally, the JEP has requested the governor of Antioquia, Luis Pérez Gutiérrez, the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez, and the companies EPM and Socya, to respond within a maximum of ten days on the progress in the search for victims of enforced disappearance in the municipalities of influence of Hidroituango, in La Escombrera de la Comuna 13, in Betulia and Puerto Berrío.
El Espectador, "JEP asks for international expertise on forced disappearance in the area of Hidroituango", March 6, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-pide-peritazgo-internacional-sobre-desaparicion-forzada-en-zona-de-hidroituango
RCN Radio, "JEP claims information on missing persons in the vicinity of Hidroituango", March 7, 2019, available at:https://www.rcnradio.com/colombia/antioquia/jep-reclama-informacion-de-desaparecidos-en-inmediaciones-de-hidroituango
The JEP holds the first hearing in the rural area of Cacarica:
The humanitarian zone Nueva Esperanza in Cacarica, Chocó, was the stage for the first audience, in rural areas, developed by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) within the framework of the case 004 on the territorial situation of the region of Urabá and Bajo Atrato, for violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in events that occurred between January 1, 1986 and December 1, 2016. Victims of the communities of Dabeiba, Curbaradó, Jiguamiandó , Pedegüita testified to the multiple victimizing facts and human rights violations committed against them from 1995 to 2016, as well as the dispossession mechanisms for the implementation of an economic model that involves various business sectors. The judicial procedure, developed by judges of this transitional justice and two Commissioners of the Truth, corresponded to the request of the affected ones in deepening the report: 'They go by our lands to blood and fire', delivered on 10 December by the organizations Commission of Justice and Peace, Forging Futures, IPC and the Corporación Jurídica Libertad.
Contagio Radio, "JEP and communities make history with first audience in rural area of cacarica", March 5, 2019, available at: http://www.contagioradio.com/jep-comunidades-audiencia-cacarica-articulo-62682/
Colonel (r) Gabriel de Jesús Rincón Amado - linked to # Caso003, known as "false positives" - appears in a public hearing before the JEP:
The Juridical Situations Definition Room (SDSJ) of the JEP, through resolution 460 of 2019, convened a public hearing of Colonel (r) Gabriel de Jesus Rincón Amado, who gave an appearance before the Chamber of Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of Facts and Conduct on March 5.
The appellant, who in ordinary justice was sentenced to 46 years in prison for the forced disappearance and murder of five young people from Soacha (Cundinamarca), signed a submission to the JEP, has the benefit of temporary freedom conditioned and anticipated from the 4th of May 2019 and is part of Case 003, based on the report of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation "Deaths illegitimately presented as casualties in combat by agents of the State". "I believe that in this jurisdiction there are full guarantees for truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition, and I applied to the JEP to offer the truth to which the rights of the victims are entitled," said Col. Gabriel. by Jesús Rincón
The victims who were accredited in # Caso003 participated in a public hearing attended by Colonel (r) Gabriel de Jesús Rincón Amado. To view this audience, click here.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Communiqué 028: JEP summons to audience Colonel (r) Gabriel de Jesús Rincón Amado", March 4, 2019, available at:https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-028---JEP-convoca-a-audiencia-al-coronel(r)-Gabriel-de-Jesus-Rincon-Amado.aspx
El Espectador, "JEP will listen to the victims of false positives", March 4, 2019, available at:https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-escuchara-las-victimas-de-falsos-positivos
The voluntary version of Joaquín Gómez, former commander of the South Block of the FARC, before the JEP is postponed:
The stage was set for last Monday, March 4 in Bogota. However, it was not to be as the ex-guerrilla requested that the hearing be held in La Guajira. Joaquín Gómez, who during the conflict was one of the commanders of the South Bloc of the guerrilla, was summoned to answer for the case of kidnappings that are attributed to the old leadership of the FARC between 1993 and 2012. He was required to render a voluntary version to explain the participation that he had, as a former member of the secretariat and the Central Staff, in the commission of these kidnappings.
El Tiempo, "Voluntary version of Joaquín Gómez before the JEP was postponed", March 4, 2019, available at:https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/jep-colombia/version-voluntaria-de-joaquin-gomez-ante-la-jep-se-aplazo-y-se-hara-en-la-guajira-333910
The JEP must resolve extradition of Martín Leonel Pérez Castro, former guerrilla involved in kidnapping deputies of the Valley:
Criminal Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice referred him to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) the trial being held against Martín Leonel Pérez Castro, alias 'Richard' one of the FARC guerrillas accused of participating in the kidnapping of the 12 deputies of the Valley in events recorded on April 11, 2002 in Cali. The ex-commander of the Farc front 30 is required by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, for a federal crime of narcotics. The ex-guerrilla is currently deprived of his freedom.
RCN Radio, "JEP must resolve extradition of implicated in kidnapping deputies of the Valley", March 4, 2019, available at:
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace opens case 06:
Victimization of members of the Patriotic Union (UP): The Chamber of Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of the Facts and Conduct (SRVR) of the JEP has opened case No .006, called "Victimization of members of the Patriotic Union (UP) by state agents", from Report No. 3 presented by the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, as well as two other reports of the Restart Corporation and of the National Centre for Historical Memory. The Patriotic Union (UP) is a political party that was born in 1985 amid the peace dialogues of Uribe (Meta), between the FARC-EP and the government of Belisario Betancur. According to the Office of the Prosecutor, 1,620 leaders, militants and supporters of the UP were victimized since 1984. For their part, the Reiniciar Corporation and the National Center for Historical Memory both state that there are more than 6,000 victims. The Chamber believes that the information received in the reports points to the existence of a systematic and widespread practice at the national level that sought the extermination of the UP and its members.
The Chamber has stated that the reports indicate as alleged perpetrators, members of the security forces, State agents, civilians and paramilitary groups that acted through different public-private criminal alliances. It is worth remembering that 16 members of the public force have taken refuge in the JEP expressly for facts related to victimizations suffered by members of the UP. To read the opening case of case 006, click here.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "JEP opens case 06: Victimization of members of the Patriotic Union (UP)", March 4, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/JEP-abre-el-caso-06---Victimizacion-de-miembros--de-la-Union-Patriotica-.aspx
The JEP closes the practice of tests in the case of Seuxis Paucias Hernández, known as "Jesús Santrich":
On March 5th, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace decided to close the testing stage and continue with the study of the guarantee of non- extradition of former FARC leader Seuxis Paucias Hernández, known as Jesús Santrich, after receiving a letter from the US authorities stating that they will not send the evidence that incriminates him in an alleged shipment of cocaine to that country. As of Tuesday, March 5, the Attorney General's office and the Santrich defence will have five business days to present their arguments. Once that term has finished, that is, by next Tuesday, March 12, the Review Section will begin the study to decide whether or not it grants the guarantee of non-extradition to the former guerrilla leader. It is expected that this decision will be known next week, although the rule does not stipulate a specific deadline to do so.
Last Friday, March 1, when the communication sent by the Office of International Affairs of the US Department of Justice to the JEP was announced, in which the petition for the submission of evidence supporting the extradition request of the former guerrilla fighter was declined : "We must decline the request, since the request (9 recordings between July 10, 2017 and February 13, 2018) is contrary to our practice of the treaty and requests unnecessary evidence for the extradition request," said the government of the United States.
It should be remembered that the guarantee of non-extradition is provided for ex-guerrillas of the FARC who have left their weapons, who are in the process of reincorporation and have committed crimes related to the armed conflict before the signing of the Peace Agreement (December 1, 2016).
To understand the 8 key questions that must be understood about the case of Jesús Santrich, click here.
El Espectador, "JEP closes practice test in case Santrich", March 4, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-cierra-practica-de-pruebas-en-caso-santrich
El Espectador, "Eight things you should know to understand the Santrich theme", March 4, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/ocho-cosas-que-usted-debe-saber-para-entender-el-tema-santrich
El Heraldo, "The United States will not send more evidence in the 'Santrich' case," March 1, 2019, available at:https://www.elheraldo.co/colombia/estados-unidos-no-enviara-mas-pruebas-en-el-caso-santrich-602570
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace condemns the actions of the former support prosecutor who belonged to the Investigation and Accusation Unit (UIA):
The thirty-eight magistrates that make up the JEP, assembled in a plenary session and chaired by its President Patricia Linares, expressed On March 5, Carlos Julián Berneo was to be convicted for actions of former support. As a result the former prosecutor was immediately dissociated from the JEP after hearing the facts.
Carlos Julián Bermeo was appointed Assistant Prosecutor II of the Investigation and Accusation Unit of the Special Justice for Peace on October 29, 2018, through resolution 841. On March 1, Bermeo was captured by the Attorney General's Office of the Nation in an operation that took place at Marriot and Artisan hotels, supposedly, when he was going to receive US $500 thousand dollars in exchange for influencing the file of former guerrilla fighter Jesus Santrich, requested for extradition by the United States.
On March 3, in an official statement, the JEP requested the Attorney General of the Nation to open an investigation to clarify the facts as soon as possible. In this communiqué, the JEP insists on clarifying that the Investigation and Accusation Unit (UIA) of the JEP is not a party to the procedures for the guarantee of non-extradition, and that for the specific cases of Jesús Santrich, the Review Section has not formulated to the UIA any type of requirement.
To consult the statement to the respect of the Executive Secretariat of the JEP by María del Pilar Bahamón, click here.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Statement of the Full Chamber of the JEP", March 5, 2019, available at:https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-de-la-Sala-Plena-de-la-JEP.aspx
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Official Twitter, March 3, 2019, available at:https://twitter.com/JEP_Colombia/status/1102327554181083139
Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Regarding the capture of the support prosecutor Carlos Julián Bermeo Casas, of the UIA, the magistrates of the Review Section of the JEP report", March 1, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-de-la-JEP-a-prop%C3%B3sito-de-la-captura-de-Carlos-Juli%C3%A1n-Bermeo,-fiscal-de-la-UIA.aspx
El Espectador, "Who is Carlos J. Bermeo, the prosecutor of the JEP captured by the Attorney General's Office?", March 1, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/quien-es-carlos-j-bermeo-el-fiscal-de-la-jep-capturado-por-la-fiscalia-general
Extradition Proceedings in the JEP will have second instance:
From now on those who are hosted by the JEP and are requested in extradition may appeal the decision taken by the Review Section in order to be analyzed in a second instance. The Court of Appeals Section of the Peace Court accepted a guardianship filed by the Attorney General's Office for the section and extradition decisions to be reviewed. The guardianship referred to the case of Pedro Luis Zuleta Noscué, an indigenous person who is disabled, has been requested for extradition by the United States for crimes related to drug trafficking. "In its ruling, the Appeals Section agreed with the Public Prosecutor's Office and declared that the Review Section is not the closing organ of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace -JEP-, in the process of the guarantee of non-extradition, and their decisions may be reviewed in the second instance, "said the Public Ministry.