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Weekly Update from The Special Jurisdiction of Peace in Colombia


8 March - 15 March


The Guernica Group


March 2019

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, From 8th of March to 15th of March


President Iván Duque objects to six articles of the Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, but it will continue to work:


Last week, President Iván Duque partially objected to the Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) - specifically, 6 of its 159 articles-, arguing reasons of inconvenience; a decision that, initially, implies the paralysis of the integral application of the norm.


The Statutory Law of the JEP must now enter Congress for a new discussion on the points objected. The Fifth Law of 1992, or Regulations of the Congress, provides that when one chamber declares the objections of the Government unfounded and the other finds them justified, it will archive the project.


Patricia Linares, president of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, wanted to make clear in a statement that the objection of President Ivan Duque does not paralyze the work of the JEP: "To the victims, to those appearing, to society and to the international community, we want to reiterate that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace will continue to function fully, fully exercising each and every one of its competences and functions, as it has been doing since January 15 of last year, in order to fulfill the commitment of contributing to the obtaining of the full truth "."As long as the process is completed in Congress, we will continue to operate with what we have," said Linares.


On the other hand, the United Nations (UN) requested the Government on March 14 to promptly approve the draft Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace as a guarantee of the rights of thousands of victims of the armed conflict to the truth, justice, reparation and guarantee of non-repetition. "The construction of a stable and lasting peace depends on the urgent sanction and promulgation of the draft Statute Law of the JEP in compliance with the mandates of the Constitutional Court and international standards," said Alberto Brunori, representative in Colombia of the High Commissioner of the UN for Human Rights.


For more information about the six objected articles of the Statutory Law, click here. aquí.


Sources:

Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Communiqué 036: UN urges sanction of the Statutory Law of the JEP to guarantee the rights of the victims", March 14, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/ONU-URGE-SANCI%C3%93N-DE-LEY-ESTATUTARIA-DE-LA-JEP-PARA-GARANTIZAR-LOS-DERECHOS-DE-LAS-V%C3%8DCTIMAS.aspx


Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Communiqué 033 of 2019: Statement by the President of the JEP",

March 10, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-033-de-2019---Declaraci%C3%B3n-de-la-Presidenta-de-la-JEP.aspx


Mission of Verification of the UN in Colombia: "Reading of the meeting of the Secretary General, Antonio Gutérres with his excellency Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo García, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia ", March 13, 2019, available at:https://colombia.unmissions.org/lectura-de-la-reuni%C3%B3n-del-secretario-general-antonio-guterres-con-su-excelencia-el-sr-carlos-holmes


El Espectador, "" The JEP is not paralyzed ": Patricia Linares", March 10, 2019, available at:· https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/la-jep-no-se-paraliza-patricia-linares


Victims and civil society organisations will be able to consult the reports on intelligence files, counterintelligence and reserved expenses of the former Administrative Security Department (DAS):


The Chamber for the Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of the Facts and Conduct of the JEP transferred the reports, presented to the victims and civil society organizations, in the framework of the Technical Committee. This Committee was set up to verify the preserving conditions and access to the intelligence, counterintelligence and reserved files of the now defunct Administrative Security Department.


This means that victims and civil society organizations will be able to consult these reports and will have 30 days to comment on these documents, which are published on the website of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (www.jep.gov.co ). The general public may also have access to this information. Both victims and organizations may make comments and observations they deem necessary. One of the purposes is to identify the measures that can be adopted and thus preserve the DAS intelligence files that are related to the armed conflict.


Source:

Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Communiqué 035: There is already access to the reports on intelligence archives, counterintelligence and reserved expenses of the extinct DAS", March 13, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-035-de-2019-Acceso-informes-de-archivos-de-inteligencia,-contrainteligencia-y-gastos-reservados-del-extinto-DAS.aspx


The JEP receives information on the impact of the use of anti-personnel mines by the FARC:


A group of 14 magistrates and prosecutors of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) travelled on March 13 to the military fort of Tolemaida, in Cundinamarca to receive, from the commanding general of the Army Nicacio Martínez, a "specialized illustration" and a report on the use of improvised explosives in the framework of the armed conflict by the FARC.


This training was carried out at the National Center against Mines and Explosive Devices and at the request of the Investigation and Accusation Unit of the JEP, in order to understand the use of unconventional explosive devices by the FARC in the conflict. It is the first time that officials and magistrates of the JEP have visited a military installation to receive this type of training. The Army assures that this will be the first of several reports that will be delivered to the JEP and "reiterates its commitment to the organizations of the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition."


Source:

El Espectador: Colombia 2020: "JEP receives information on the impact of anti-personnel mines", 13 March 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-recibe-informacion-sobre-el-impacto-de-las-minas-antipersonal


El Espectador: Colombia 2020: "JEP listened to the military about the use of unconventional weapons by the FARC", March 14, 2019, available at:https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-escucho-los-militares-sobre-el-uso-de-armas-no-convencionales-por-parte-de-las-farc


The JEP postpones the voluntary version of Luciano Marín Arango, known as "Iván Márquez":


Luciano Marín Arango, also known as Iván Márquez, was summoned to provide a personally surrendered voluntary version before the JEP on 14th March, this follows the summons made by the High Court in case 001. The 31 members of the Central Staff of the former guerrilla must tell their version of the illegal retentions, kidnappings, extortions, disappearances and even homicides in the context of the armed conflict.


Now, the Board of Recognition of the JEP, through the order of March 13, 2019, modified the date for Márquez to appear, the date now being 2nd May. The defense of the former chief negotiator of the FARC argued that there are security reasons of “force majeure” for him to move to the city of Bogotá. According to his lawyer, Márquez said by telephone "he will not be able to go on March 14, since his trip to the city of Bogotá has been constantly threatened ...". In any case, he expressed his intention to appear before that jurisdiction. To date, 7 former guerrilla leaders have appeared in this case.


Source:

El Espectador, "JEP postpones the voluntary version of Iván Márquez", March 13, 2019, available at:https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-aplaza-version-voluntaria-de-ivan-marquez


The Constitutional Court concludes that the JEP can conduct evidence in extradition cases and rejects the "special trial procedure for the military":


On March 13, the Constitutional Court rejected several articles of the Special Jurisdiction Procedure Law for Peace.


The first article that the Court rejected was the one that created a special trial procedure for the military. Article 75 that created and allowed the military to maintain the benefits of freedom, but this would only begin when that special procedure was created for them. Additionally, the Court also denied that the military had no obligation to reveal the macro-criminal plan under which members of the security forces committed crimes during the conflict.


Another of the critical issues that defined the High Court, has to do with the power that the JEP has to order evidence, in files to define the guarantee of non-extradition. The Constitutional Court concluded that the JEP does have that power. According to the draft decision approved by the High Court, all the procedures that are carried out within the JEP must be protected by due process and, in that perspective, "the possibility of extradition can not be an exception".


Source:

- El Tiempo, "JEP can do tests in cases of extradition: Court", March 13, 2019, available at: https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/jep-colombia/jep-puede-pedir-pruebas-para-decidir-extradiciones-337370


El Espectador, "JEP can do tests in cases of extradition: Constitutional Court", March 13, 2019, available at:· https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/jep-si-puede-practicar-pruebas-en-casos-de-extradicion-corte-constitucional-articulo-844827


The voluntary version of Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, known as "Jesus Santrich", before the JEP is suspended:


On March 12, the Magistrates of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace listened to the voluntary version of former guerrilla leader Seuis Paucias Hernandez Solarte, known as "Jesus Santrich" from La Picota prison. The evidence is given in case 001, which concerns the illegal detention, disappearance and killings by the FARC, of which 31 former guerrilla fighters are to explain what happened with the 6,162 cases reported to the jurisdiction. So far, seven have already appeared, including Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, Pablo Catatumbo, Pastor Alape and Joaquín Gómez.


However, after four hours of judicial proceedings, the Magistrates decided to suspend the version. The reason is that, so far, Santrich has not been able to access the reports of case 001, as the Prosecutor's Office has not authorized the former guerrilla leader, who suffers from a visual disability, the admission of specialized equipment, which allows him to read it and the audio. After this, the Recognition Room asked the Prosecutor's Office for this authorization urgently, taking into account that "reading the reports is an essential element of due process, as well as advising the defense team," said the JEP in a press release. The Prosecutor's Office has not ruled on this request. The Santrich version is expected to resume on May 22.


Source:

El Espectador: Colombia 2020: "JEP suspends voluntary version of Jesus Santrich", March 12, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-suspende-version-voluntaria-de-jesus-santrich


El Espectador: Colombia 2020: "Santrich renders version before the JEP from La Picota", March 12, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/santrich-rinde-version-ante-la-jep-desde-la-picota


The JEP and the Procurator's Office seek to strengthen the participation of the victims: The Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Attorney General's Office led the forum "Voices of the victims: participation and restorative justice"


The purpose of the forum is to create a dialogue about the model of transitional justice adopted in the peace process between the demobilized FARC guerrilla and the Colombian State, so the event will have two panels: The centrality of the victims in the search for justice and the place of the victims in the justice component of the SIVJRNR: Selection, prioritization, conditionality regime and own sanctions.


Source:

Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Communiqué 034: The JEP and the Attorney General's Office lead territorial strategy to strengthen the participation of victims", March 11, 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-034-de-2019---La-JEP-y-la-Procuradur%C3%ADa-lideran-estrategia-para-fortalecer-la-participaci%C3%B3n-de-las-v%C3%ADctimas.aspx

·

Milton Toncel, known as Joaquín Gómez, renders voluntary version before the JEP in case 001:

Summoned by the Chamber of Recognition and Review of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the leader of the Farc in La Guajira - Milton Toncel , known as Joaquín Gómez - gave a voluntary version last week in case 001 regarding the "Illegal retention of people by the FARC." The diligence was carried out in the Palace of Justice of Riohacha because the ex-combatant requested it, due to "the security risks and taking into account that the Palace facilities are quite safe".


Source:

El Heraldo, "'Joaquín Gómez' went to the JEP to give a free version", March 11, 2019, available at:https://www.elheraldo.co/la-guajira/joaquin-gomez-acudio-la-jep-para-dar-version-libre-606400


Ex-governor of Arauca Julio Acosta Bernal asks to be heard in the JEP:


In 2004, when Julio Acosta Bernal began his work as governor of Arauca, the department suffered the violence of the guerrillas and the paramilitary groups. Acosta Bernal, one of the most powerful within the department, has requested to be heard in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, announcing that he is willing to tell his truth about the interference of armed groups in the region through contracts, as well as the alleged relationship of the political class in some of the cases for which he is being prosecuted.


Julio Acosta was presented to the JEP as an agent of the State not a member of the Public Force. For this, he proposed a commitment to contribute to the full truth, comprehensive reparation and non-repetition, which is one of the requirements that the special justice requires and that must be analyzed to decide whether to accept it or not. The ex-governor of Arauca assures that he can provide the truth about the facts for which he has been prosecuted, these being: two cases for murder and three for alleged irregularities in hiring.


Source:

El Espectador: Colombia 2020: "The ex-Governor of Arauca Julio Acosta Bernal asks for a clue at the JEP", March 12, 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/el-exgobernador-de-arauca-julio-acosta-bernal-pide-pista-en-la-jep


Chocoas communities deliver a report to the JEP:


The Chamber of Recognition of Truth, Responsibility and Determination of the Facts and Conduct of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) received last Monday, March 4, 2019, in the area of Nueva Esperanza, Corregimiento Cacarica, located in the municipality of Riosucio (Chocó), the oral phase of the mixed report on serious crimes committed, including the forced displacement and subsequent dispossession of lands from the communities, among many other damages and incidents, occurred on occasion or in the context of the armed conflict in the Urabá Chocoano. The testimonies collected last Monday were taken as input for the case 04 opened by the JEP, which prioritizes the situation of the municipalities of Turbo, Apartadó, Carepa, Chigorodó, Mutatá, Dabeiba (Antioquia) and El Carmen del Darién and Riosucio (Chocó).


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "Choco communities deliver report to the JEP", March 8, 2019, available at:https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunidades-chocoanas-entregan-informe-a-la-JEP.aspx


General Adolfo León Hernández says he is willing to go to the JEP to defend himself against the allegations that link him to extrajudicial executions in César:


On March 7, three human rights organizations handed over to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace the report "What future awaits us?", in which they point out that during the command of General Adolfo León Hernández, between 2007 and 2009, there were 23 cases of extrajudicial executions in Artillery Battalion No. 2 La Popa, with jurisdiction over the department of Cesar. The report was prepared by the Colombian Commission of Jurists, the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective and the Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners to contribute to Case 003: "Illegitimately presented as casualties in combat by agents of the State", opened by the jurisdiction in July 2018.


Now, the General states that he wants to defend himself against the accusations made by these organizations, expressing no investigations into these allegations. To read the interview that the newspaper "El Espectador" made to General León Hernández, click here.


Source:

-El Espectador: Colombia 2020, "I am willing to go to the JEP: General Adolfo L. Hernández", March 9, 2019, available at:https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/estoy-dispuesto-ir-la-jep-general-adolfo-l-hernandez


- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, "The JEP receives report on 23 extrajudicial executions in Cesar, between 2007 and 2009", March 8, 2019, available at:https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/La-JEP-recibe-informe-sobre-23-ejecuciones-extrajudiciales--en-Cesar,-entre-2007-y-2009.aspx


Julián Gallo, known during the conflict as "Carlos Antonio Lozada", responds to the JEP for kidnappings of the FARC:


Julián Gallo, better known during the conflict as Carlos Antonio Lozada, appeared last Friday, March 8 before the Magistrates' office of the JEP. The former guerrilla leader is the sixth to respond to this transitional justice mechanism for the kidnappings that are attributed to the leadership of the FARC between 1993 and 2012. Lozada said that his presence in the JEP is fulfilling his "commitment to the country and the victims".


Source:

El Tiempo, "Carlos Antonio Lozada responds to the JEP for kidnappings of the FARC", March 8, 2019, available at: https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/jep-colombia/carlos-antonio-lozada-responde-ante-la-jep-por-secuestros-de-las-farc-335452


El Grupo Guernica


Marzo 2019


Para el Grupo Guernica, la labor desarrollada por el Sistema Integral de Verdad, Justicia, Reparación y No-Repetición de Colombia es esencial para implementar y consolidar el Acuerdo de Paz. Las víctimas del conflicto armado son el centro y la garantía de los esfuerzos por aclarar la verdad y obtener justicia por crímenes clave cometidos en el marco del conflicto armado, base imprescindible para construir una verdadera y duradera reconciliación. La Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) tiene el potencial de desarrollar nuevos precedentes legales que puedan reconfigurar la justicia penal internacional y generar un legado fundamental en Latinoamérica.


Por todo ello, el Grupo Guernica publicará actualizaciones semanales sobre la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz para expandir el alcance de la JEP y generar debate alrededor de los casos, los procesos judiciales y la regulación de sus diferentes salas. Los resúmenes de las noticias serán publicados tanto en inglés como en español, junto a links que enlazan a los artículos originales: