Special Jurisdiction For Peace Warns Of Weakening Authority of Colombian State Under Duque Administration
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Colombia’s independent government entity charged with monitoring the peace process has issued a new report with an urgent warning that Colombia is suffering “a weakening of the authority of the state,”and that “the presence of dissidents is growing and there is a reorganization of groups that are heirs to the paramilitary movements in the territories.”
Before a group of social leaders from the Montes de María region, the delegate of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the UN Verification Mission, Social Pastoral, the Mapp/OAS, the Kroc Institute, the Capaz Institute and the Presidential Council for Human Rights, the director of the Investigation and Accusation Unit (UIA) of the JEP, Giovanni Álvarez, presented the details of the new report.
The first alert indicates that in 100 municipalities of Colombia the authority of the state is collapsing in a dangerous way. Among municipalities facing peril, Álvarez referred to Maicao, Segovia, Ituango, Tibú, Ocaña, El Tarra, Jamundí, Fortul, Puerto Leguízamo, Suárez, Buenos Aires, La Macarena, Montelíbano, Santander de Quilichao, Tumaco, Buenaventura and Argelia, as some of the municipalities where the situation is more serious.
The second alert brings attention to the fact that “Colombia is experiencing a phase of reorganization of historical nuclei of paramilitarism: the Clan del Golfo and new groups that claim the acronyms of the AUC and the BCB have taken over 1 in 4 municipalities, and show significant activity in subregions such as Urabá Antioquia, Bajo Atrato, Alto Sinú, the southern region of the Bolívar department, Sierra Nevada, the southern region of Cesar department, Risaralda and the north of Valle del Cauca (La Virginia-Cartago), the Middle-Magdalena (river) region, Antioquia, Caldas and Santander departments.
The JEP, the Truth Commission and the UBPD are exploring ways to guarantee the non-repetition of the crimes suffered by Colombians during 60 years of conflict.
Finally, Álvarez warned that the FARC-EP dissidents are the group of recidivists or peace process deserters that have grown the most in Colombia, constituting the main risk of victimization against those excombatants who have laid down their weapons. In that sense, he said that “the simultaneous presence of the dissidents of ‘Gentil Duarte’ and the Second Marquetalia increases more than three times the probability of murders” of members of the extinct guerrilla groups.
Through the Unified Risk Monitoring Mechanism of the Integral System for Peace, which will issue periodic reports for the country and the competent authorities, both the JEP, the Truth Commission, and the UBPD, explore ways to guarantee the non-repetition of the crimes experienced by Colombians during 60 years of armed conflict.
During the event, which took place in San Jacinto (Bolivar), the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the Truth Commission and the Search Unit for Persons Reported Missing, presented the tool that will serve as a compass to warn about the risks, publicize the atrocities of the conflict and for the State to take the necessary measures.
Through this public platform, the three entities work to have greater tools to mitigate the risks of Colombians who actively participate in the transitional justice model. According to the report, since the signing of the Peace Agreement, 326 former FARC-EP combatants and 1,026 social leaders have been killed. The death of each of them deprives the victims of realizing their rights to justice and full truth.
“This tool does not replace the very defense mechanisms that are at the head of the State,” warned Judge Eduardo Cifuentes, president of the JEP. In his opinion, it is necessary that “the other authorities take note of the alerts so that they adopt the corresponding measures,” he said after recalling that the System asked the Ombudsman’s Office to adopt an ombudsman resolution that draws up a roadmap to put an end to the crimes.
For his part, Father Francisco de Roux, president of the Truth Commission, called “for mayors to protect their people” since “what is at stake and our only reason for existing as institutions of the Integral System for Peace is the responsibility for life.”
On that same shore stood Nadia Pérez, spokeswoman for the Search Unit for Persons Reported Missing. “This system has allowed us to identify the risks to life and freedom for relatives, companions, information contributors, such as the signatories of the Peace Agreement. This allows us to identify the risks, contrast them with you in the territory to prevent and mitigate them.”