Colombian Military Concerned by Bias in New FARC Agreement

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Nov 29, 2016, 5:11 pm
Colombian military
The Colombian military has expressed concerns about bias in provisions of the new peace deal with the FARC (Flickr).


Senator Thania Vega, of the Centro Democrático party and who is the wife of Colonel Alfonso Plazas Vega, spoke in an interview with the Colombian daily El Tiempo about the military’s concerns about the new government-FARC agreement that Congress will seek to approve this week.

The senator affirms that the new text which was agreed upon after the renegotiation between the government and the FARC in essence remains the same, and has even generated more concerns since it allows for the possibility of opening new investigations into the military. Under the current text officers could be held legally responsible for the actions of their subordinates and the military has also made allegations of unfairness and impartiality in the process for selecting judges for the trials in question, suggesting that military officers would be at a disadvantage in legal proceedings.

In addition, she said that legal insecurity could be generated and that military personnel who have already been acquitted may be tried again through different courts under the auspices of transitional justice. The military is concerned that this would violate the fundamental principle of double jeopardy, and be fundamentally unfair to those who have already been acquitted of wrongdoing.

She is also concerned regarding issues related to the reconstruction of historical memory, fearing that the ideology of experts in this area of study could cause inherent biases in the information generated. Senator Vega argues that some are fundamentally seeking to convict military officers without sufficient evidence in matters of genocide, when she argues that they were only carrying out actions under the rules of international humanitarian law.

The senator pointed out that transitional justice would be replacing Colombian institutions. This means that existing safeguards to protect human rights such as Colombia‘s “tutela” which allows for legal redress of grievances, would not be recognized and under that new jurisdiction, and that the military might be forced to confess to things they did not do to avoid being tried with the full force of the law even though they were innocent.

Source: El Tiempo

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Brazilian Soccer Club Chapecoense Receives Worldwide Support After Plane Crash

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Nov 29, 2016, 4:58 pm

EspañolBrazilian soccer club Chapecoense has received an outpouring of support from the sporting world and abroad after nearly the entire team was lost to a plane crash in Colombia overnight Monday, November 28 on its way to play in the final for the South American Cup against Atlético Nacional. From the free loan of players to the granting of the championship cup, various groups have shown their support and sadness at the loss of the Brazilian soccer team, which finished with only four safe players who had been unable to travel due to injury, roster decisions or family obligations. The teams in Series A of the league issued a statement laying out measures to ensure the team is reconstructed for the future. Read More: Venezuelan Military No Longer Allowed to Use Social Media Apps Read More: Maduro Claims Venezuelans "Lack Nothing" Despite Plunging Oil Prices One of these measures was the free transfer of players to shield the team in the first division over the next three seasons. Another show of solidarity came from the Colombian team Atlético Nacional, which requested that its intended competitor be titled the championship. The Board of Directors of Atlético Nacional met quickly after hearing of the accident and proposed that the title be given to Chapecoense, and that the money awarded to the champion be given to the families of the victims. "Atlético Nacional asks Conmebol that the title for the South America Cup be given to the Chapecoense Association as an honorary laurel to their great loss and as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that our sport mourns," a representative wrote in a statement. "To us, and forever, Chapecoense is the 2016 champion of the South American Cup," the statement concluded. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Brazilian team Palmeiras asked to play in Chapecoense uniforms in its final game of the season. The game, against Vitória, will be played on December 11. Peruvian team Alianza Lima, which suffered a similar tragedy in 1987 when a plane crashed in Lima, reached out with its own words of support. "In these moments, we are all embraced by soccer. We send strength to our brothers at Chapecoense Real....We understand your pain." The Mayor of Medellín rescheduled the Christmas lighting from Tuesday, November 29 to Saturday, December 3, to make room for mourning of those lost in the crash. Atlético Nacional commented about the accident on Twitter. At its renowned bar Los del Sur, fans expressed their sadness with families of victims of the flight and offered support to those who had travelled to Medellín. In Colombia, rescue agencies and the national army continue with rescue efforts to find the bodies of players. Sources: El Tiempo; El Heraldo; Marca; Libero

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