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Weekly Update from The Special Jurisdiction of Peace in Colombia

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

22 March - 29 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:


· The Special Jurisdiction for Peace receives the first report on persecution against the LGBT population in the armed conflict:


On Friday, March 29th, the organizations, Colombia Diversas and Caribe Afirmativo, delivered two reports to the Room Recognition of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in which they revealed that there was systematic persecution and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people during the armed conflict. Specifically, the reports focused on the violence enacted upon the LGBT population in Tumaco (Nariño) and Antioquia, regions prioritized in the 002 and 004 cases of the JEP.


Source:

-El Espectador, “JEP recibe primer informe sobre persecución a población LGBT en el conflicto armado”, 29 March 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/jep-recibe-primer-informe-sobre-persecucion-poblacion-lgbt-en-el-conflicto-armado


· More than 11,000 people have sought refuge through the Special Jurisdiction for Peace so far:

A total of 11,725 people have approached the tribunals of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace asking to be included in the transitional justice process and have expressed their willingness to share the truth in each case.


The majority of these people, almost 80 percent, are ex-guerrilla refugees of the peace process and, 16 percent, are members of the Public Force. The 12th July and the 11th August were important dates for a portion of the victims of the armed conflict. On the 12th of July, 32 ex-members of the FARC leadership appeared for the first time before a justice tribunal to respond to the kidnappings committed against civilians. On the 11th of August, almost a month later, 14 members of the Public Force presented themselves before judges for the crime of forced disappearance and homicide committed against 5 youths from Soacha.


Since the first audience carried out halfway through 2018 to March 2019, the JEP has completed 24 hearings, 13 of which were carried out before magistrates of the Courtroom of Definitions of Legal Situations, 9 in the Courtroom of Pardon or Amnesty and two in the Recognition of Truth, Responsibility, and Determination of Facts and Conduct.


Source:

- RCN Radio, “Cerca de 11 mil personas han buscado acogerse a la JEP”, 28 March 2019, available at: https://www.rcnradio.com/recomendado-del-editor/cerca-de-11-mil-personas-han-buscado-acogerse-la-jep


· The Special Jurisdiction for Peace emphasises that FARC’s assets must be spent on reparation for the victims:


The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) has emphasised in an official communication that the Constitutional Court has warned the Office of the Prosecutor that it must guarantee that the assets of former guerrillas are designated as reparation for the victims. In the aforementioned communication, the JEP celebrates that the Constitutional Court has accepted the central argument of the jurisdiction regarding the exclusive use of guerrilla’s assets for reparation of victims of the armed conflict.


Source:

- Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “La JEP destaca que los bienes de las FARC sean para la reparación de las víctimas”, 28 March 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/La-JEP-destaca-que-los-bienes-de-las-Farc-sean-para-la-reparacion-de-las-victimas.aspx


· Jaime Alberto Parra Rodriguez, ex-leader of FARC-EP, appears before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace as part of #case001, on kidnappings:


On 28th March, Jaime Alberto Parra Rodriguez, who was integral to the Secretariat and commander of the Easter Block of FARC-EP, appeared before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.


This appearance was in response to the JEP’s appeal to the 31 members of the “Fuerza Mayor” of the guerrillas to present their version of events within the context of #case001, on kidnappings. In total, 11 ex-leaders of the guerrilla group have presented their version of events alongside Parra Rodriguez as part of #case001: Martín Cruz, Rodrigo Granda, Milton de Jesús Toncel, Julián Gallo, Seuxis Paucias Hernández Solarte, Édgar López, Pastor Alape, Pablo Catatumbo, Fabián Ramírez and Rodrigo Londoño


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Official Twitter, 28 March 2019, available at: https://twitter.com/JEP_Colombia/status/1111403201918431232


· The Special Jurisdiction for Peace receives 6 reports from the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation:


On Wednesday, March 27th, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace received 6 reports from the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, relating to events and conduct within the armed conflict on: 1) Forced mobilization by FARC-EP; 2) Forced mobilization by agents of the state: 3) Illicit means and methods used by FARC-EP within the war: 4) Selective and group killings committed by FARC-EP: 5) Selective and group killings committed by agents of the state: 6) Links between FARC-EP and components of the Public Force.


Alongside these six reports, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation has handed in a total of 17 reports to the JEP. It should be further noted that, on the 27th March 2019, 183 reports were sent to the Courtroom of Recognition of Truth, Responsibility, and Determination of the Events and Conduct (SRVR) of the JEP.


Source:

- Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “La JEP recibe seis informes de la Fiscalía General de la Nación”, 27 March 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/La-JEP-recibe-seis-informes-de-la-Fiscalia-General-de-la-Nacion.aspx


· The Organization of American States’ Support Mission to the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP OEA) handed in three reports to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace:


On Thursday, March 28th, 2019, the Organization of American States’ Support Mission to the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP OEA) handed in three reports to the JEP that contribute to victim’s participation in the transitional justice process.


“These reports contribute in an important way to the JEP’s work, that looks to leverage the deep-rooted and prolonged experience of the MAPP OEA accompanying the peace process in Colombia” said Patricia Linares, president of the JEP


Source:

- The Organization of American States’ Support Mission to the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP OEA), Official Twitter, March 27 2019, available at https://twitter.com/MAPPOEA/status/1111026047963807744


· The Committee of Prisoners for Truth delivered a letter to the entities of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, in which they reiterate their commitment to tell the truth of the armed conflict:


On Wednesday, March 27th, the Committee of Prisoners for Truth in Colombia and 200 prisoners of La Picota prison in Bogota delivered a letter to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the Commission for the Clarification of Truth and the Unified Search for the Disappeared, in which they reiterate their desire to appear before these entities, keeping in mind that “the history of Colombia is in prison”.


The imprisoned guarantee to offer an honest recounting of; murders, forced disappearances, and mass graves; assassinations, like that of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado; the explosion of the Avianca plane; displacement, as with the Afro-Colombian populations in preparation for Palma cultivation; details of operations, such as operation Orión, in Commune 13 in Medellin; extrajudicial executions (known as “false positives”); deaths of attorneys and judges; imprisonment; social cleansing; the connection between narco-traffickers, FFMM, police and , local, state, and national politicians and businessmen; connections between paramilitary and criminal bands with businessmen, industrialists, and landowners, among others.


The Committee of Prisoners for Truth also clarified in the letter that there are various prisoners living in secrecy, abroad, or beneficiaries of the Justice and Peace system, that want to recount their honest account, to ensure they would be heard. At this point, the members of this organization are calling for the imprisoned across the country to join this initiative. As such, they have offered to send lists to every detention centre in the country upon request.


At the end of the letter, which is marked on every page with the organization’s logo and contact email, are the names and signatures of members of the United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC), the guerrilla (FARC) -EP and EPL), criminal gangs and drug traffickers from the regions where the armed conflict has been most intense.


Source:

-El Espectador, "La historia de Colombia está en la cárcel": Comité de Presos por la Verdad”, 27 March 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/la-historia-de-colombia-esta-en-la-carcel-comite-de-presos-por-la-verdad


· The director of programs of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford University has claimed that “we must clarify the responsibilities of the businessmen in this conflict”:


The leader of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights from Oxford, Annelen Micus, was in Colombia this past week at the Cátedra Europa that took place at the Universidad del Norte, in Barranquilla, to have a conversation on the importance of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition and to clarify the role of businessman in armed conflict.


Annelen Micus guarantees that, despite the fact that third-party civilians do not necessarily have to appear, he hopes that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Commission for Clarification of the Truth won’t leave companies and entrepreneurs responsible for violating human rights unpunished.


Specifically, Micus emphasised that, in Colombia, different judicial processes have established that there was a relationship between paramilitaries and some business people, who were enriched as a result of their support. He further mentioned the high risk that Colombian trade unionists and leaders are currently facing. A report from the NGO Front Line Defender revealed that in the past year 321 human rights defenders were killed in 27 countries. 77% of these defenders worked on group rights, many in the context of mega-projects. Among those killed, 126 are related to Colombia. This is why Micus considers an investigation into human rights and companies so important if investigators want to clarify the culpability of businesses in the conflict and accomplish the non-repetition guarantees (one of the largest goals of the JEP).


To read the complete interview with Annelen Micus with “El Espectador”, click here


Source:

-El Espectador, “"Hay que esclarecer la responsabilidad de los empresarios en el conflicto": Annelen Micus”, 27 March 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/hay-que-esclarecer-la-responsabilidad-de-los-empresarios-en-el-conflicto-annelen-micus


· The president of the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP), Patricia Linares, tells the ex-President and Senator Álvaro Uribe “don’t resort to smear tactics”:


On 26th March, the president of the JEP, Patricia Linares, sent a letter to the ex-president and senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez, asking him to respect the debate around the jurisdiction and strict compliance with article 22 of the Constitution, “that establishes that peace is a right and a duty to all Colombians”.


Firstly, Linares reminded ex-president Uribe of the words of Pope Francisco, from his visit in September 2019: “He told us, for example, that “the search for peace is a job that is always open, a task that does not let up and demands the commitment of all” that this effort “must make us flee from all temptations of revenge”. With these reflections as a basis, Linares called for an “inevitable compromise and bade us to not accept strategies of discrediting, disinformation, and continued aggression” against those who are tasked with administering transitional justice.


To read the president of the JEP’s letter to ex-president and senator Álvaro Uribe, click here.


Source:

-Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, “​Carta de Patricia Linares, presidenta de la JEP, al senador Álvaro Uribe Vélez”, 26 March 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Carta-de-la-presidenta-de-la-JEP-al-senador-%C3%81lvaro-Uribe-V%C3%A9lez.aspx


- El Espectador, “Presidenta de la JEP pide al senador Uribe “no acudir a estrategias de desprestigio”, 26 March 2019, available at: https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/jep/presidenta-de-la-jep-pide-al-senador-uribe-no-acudir-estrategias-de-desprestigio


· Martin Cruz Vega, ex-leader of the FARC guerrillas, presented his voluntary testimony before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace as part of #caso001, on kidnappings:


Martin Cruz Vega, previous commander of the FARC Aurelio Rodríguez front and known in the war as “Rubín Morro”, presented his testimony on Tuesday, March 26th, before the JEP. His appearance was in response to the JEP call to 31 members of the Greater State of the guerrilla to present their testimony as part of #caso001, on kidnappings.


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Official Twitter, 26 March 2019, available at: https://twitter.com/JEP_Colombia/status/1110676993228632065


· Congress has begun a discussion on objections to the Statutory Law of the JEP:


Last week, Congress formally began discussions on objections to the Statutory Law. The Provisional Commission of the Senate – appointed by the corporate board of directors and made up of nine parliamentarians - will convene to study the document sent by Iván Duque, in which they present six articles of the guidelines that he considers inconvenient.


Source:

-RCN, “Congreso inicia discusión de objeciones a la ley estatutaria de la JEP”, 26 March 2019, available at: https://www.rcnradio.com/politica/congreso-inicia-discusion-de-objeciones-la-ley-estatutaria-de-la-jep


· The Courtroom of Definitions of Judicial Situations of the Special Jurisdiction of Peace continues evaluating whether they will accept Colonel Bayron Carvajal Osorio’s application on the Massacre at Jamundí in 2006:


Colonel Bayron Carvajal Osorio was considered responsible for the massacre at Jamundí in May 2006, in which members of the 10th army police of DIJIN and an informant working against drug trafficking in the Valley were killed. For these reasons, Colonel Bayron Carvajal was condemned to 54 years in prison by a judge in Cali in May 2008.


In June 2017, Colonel Bayron Cavajal asked to submit himself to the JEP. Today, the Courtroom of Definition of Judicial Situations is currently evaluating if they will accept his nomination to the JEP.


Source:

- Noticias Caracol, “Coronel responsable de masacre de Jamundí busca que la JEP lo acepte”, 25 March 2019, available at: https://noticias.caracoltv.com/politica/coronel-responsable-de-masacre-de-jamundi-busca-que-la-jep-lo-acepte


· The Special Jurisdiction for Peace issues a statement to the public on the results of its financial statement:


The Special Jurisdiction on Peace, in view of the misinformation that has circulated about the results of its financial statements, issued certain explanations. Firstly, the JEP clarified that their financial management is developed in strict compliance with the normative legal rules applicable with this material.


Secondly, the 2018 JEP budget, of 132 thousand million pesos, had an execution of 85 percent despite the two atypical situations that occurred in the first year of its operation; the gradual provision of the personal plant and the fact that the investment resources were only available to the JEP in October 2018. These two atypical situations impacted the results of the financial state on the 31st December 2018 and left the accounts short 13 billion pesos. These unpaid bills were for severance payments, which by law are paid in February, and payments arising from contracts concluded in the last quarter of 2018. Nonetheless, at this point, the unpaid accounts from December 31st 2018 are totally cancelled.


As for the JEP’s salary and benefit structure, as shown in this statement, the JEP has remained in accordance with Decree 266 of 2018, the salary and benefit structure for officials of the Court for Peace and the Chambers of Justice is the same as the Judicial Branch. The salary and benefit regime of the officials of the Executive Secretariat and the UIA is the same as that of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation.


Source:

- Special Jurisdiction for Peace “Comunicado a la opinión pública”, 22 March 2019, available at: https://www.jep.gov.co/Sala-de-Prensa/Paginas/Comunicado-a-la-Opinion-publica-sobre-finanzas-de-la-JEP.aspx


· The JEP hopes that General (r) Jaime Humberto Uscátegui presents an “acceptable program of participation before the transitional justice”:


The general (r) Jaims Humberto Uscátegui was found guilty by omission of the crime of homicide and aggravated kidnapping by the Superior Court of Bogota in 2009 and the Supreme Court in 2014. According to these petitions, as commander of the Seventh Brigade of the Army, Uscátegui held the position as guarantor of the civilian population in the jurisdiction of this military unit. However, the paramilitaries took Mapiripán between the 15th and 20th of July 1997, an attack that left an undetermined number of victims of murder and forced disappearance.


Less than two years ago, General (r) Uscátegui regained his freedom through the amnesty law and other special criminal processes (Law 1820 of 2016). A sentencing court verified that the high official (r) had been detained for more than five years, that the details of the case for which he was tried were related to the conflict, and granted him temporary and conditional freedom. However, if General (r) Uscátegui wants to maintain his conditional freedom, the JEP has warned him that he must comply with a series of conditions. Firstly, he must reveal “in a concrete manner” the facts on which he will deliver “verifiable data”. He must also choose which reparation programs, both tangible and intangible, he wants to participate in to compensate his victims. Finally, he must indicate “what type of collaboration he can extend to other bodies and components” of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition. Last week the JEP gave him a limit of ten days to determine which “truth program” he will use to contribute to the victims.


Source:

- El Espectador, “General (r) Uscátegui: ¿ofrecerá verdad a las víctimas o volverá a prisión?”, 22 March 2019, available at: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/general-r-uscategui-ofrecera-verdad-las-victimas-o-volvera-prision-articulo-846394


ACTUALIZACIÓN SEMANAL SOBRE LA JURISDICCIÓN ESPECIAL PARA LA PAZ (JEP)

(22 marzo - 29 marzo 2019)


· La Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz recibe el primer informe sobre persecución a población LGBT en el conflicto armado:


El pasado viernes 29 de marzo, las organizaciones Colombia Diversa y Caribe Afirmativo entregaron ante la Sala de Reconocimiento de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) dos informes en los que se pone de manifiesto que hubo persecución y violencia sistemática contra personas lesbianas, gay, bisexuales y trans durante el conflicto armado. En concreto, los informes relatan la violencia que vivió la población LBGT en Tumaco (Nariño) y Antioquia, zonas priorizadas en los casos 002 y 004 de la JEP.


Fuente: