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Colombia: Human Rights Watch Raises Concerns over FARC Political Participation

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - Jul 17, 2017, 6:46 pm
(Twitter)
According to HRW, serious problems remain with regard to allowing FARC political participation in Colombia (Twimg).

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has submitted a report to the Constitutional Court expressing its concerns about the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

In the document sent to the High Court, they consolidates their concerns and arguments from “international law” with regard to Legislative Act 1 of 2017, which established the Special Peace Justice conventions, after signing the agreement with the FARC.

José Miguel Vivanco, director of HRW in the Americas, said that although the body “applauds the peace process between the Colombian Government and the FARC,” it has “grave concerns about the shortcomings in the area of justice included in the agreement.”

According to HRW, the defects previously noted remain in Legislative Act 1 of 2017, in which he outlines two fundamental problems.

“An excessively broad provision on political participation for members of the FARC, and an unjustifiably rigid definition of command responsibility for members of the armed forces that could prevent high-ranking police officers from being held accountable for the crimes committed by their subordinates,” the agency said.

HRW has repeatedly expressed concerns about the possibility that members of the FARC, the perpetrators of serious crimes against humanity, may hold public office, even while serving their sentences.

“While we agree with the Colombian government that one of the fundamental purposes of the peace process is to allow the FARC to promote their political objectives in a democratic framework, such participation in politics could limit compliance with the sanctions imposed by the Special Jurisdiction For Peace.”

“The political participation of those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of human rights is subject to the full and unconditional fulfillment of the sanctions imposed by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace”.

Colombia’s 2018 presidential election is likely to feature a heated contest between German Vargas Lleras, who has the implicit backing of current President Santos, and the Colombian left and right. Alvaro Uribe’s Centro Democratico party has yet to choose its nominee, while many believe that former Medellin mayor Sergio Fajardo is the most promising candidate on the Colombian center-left.

Source: Blu Radio

Felipe Fernández Felipe Fernández

Felipe Fernández is a reporter from Colombia for the PanAm Post. He's a law student at the La Gran Colombia University in Armenia. Follow him on Twitter: @Ffernandezp

Ecuador Halts Construction of Controversial Border Wall with Peru

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 17, 2017, 4:41 pm
Ecuador Peru Border Wall

Español The Ecuadorian government informed Peru of its decision to halt the construction of a border wall that had strained diplomatic relations between the two countries. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa made the announcement on the decision to stop the controversial construction project during her visit to Peru. Read More: Tension over Ecuadorian Border Wall Rises as Peru Summons Ambassador Read More: Ecuador's Unannounced Border Wall Angers Peruvian Officials "Ecuador's Foreign Ministry confirms the suspension of the construction of the border wall," Espinosa said in a statement. The Peruvian government instructed the ambassador in Quito earlier this week to express his indignation at Ecuador's decision at that time to proceed with the construction of the wall despite objections from Lima. The government of Ecuador had planned to build a four-meter-high barrier along its western border, located in its southern city of Huaquillas, with the objective of separating it from the Peruvian city of Aguas Verdes, located just across a river. The issue of border walls has become particularly sensitive in Latin America in recent months after US President Donald Trump promised to build a wall across the south of his country to prevent undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America to cross into US territory. Peru and Ecuador have endured a rocky relationship in the past. culminating in a brief border war in 1941. Tensions long simmered over territorial issues, and military conflict erupted again in 1995's Cenepa War, which saw a negotiated settlement and an end to military hostilities between the two Andean nations. Left-wing president Lenin Moreno's geopolitical move appears motivated by an attempt to cultivate a stronger relationship with the center-right government of Peru's Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. While Peru has traditionally aligned itself with Alliance of the Pacific partners such as Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, Ecuador has generally developed relationships with other left-wing regimes such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); However, in the past several years, the "Pink Tide" of left-wing governance promoted by Venezuelan Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, appears to be on the wane. Source: The Indian Express

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