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Colombian Military, Police Officers Launch Party with Eyes on 2018 Election

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Mar 29, 2017, 2:30 pm
Colombian Military, Police Officers Launch Party
Patria Nueva (New Homeland) is a political initiative composed of retired military and police officers. (YouTube)

EspañolThis week, police and army members in Colombia announced the creation of the political party “Patria Nueva” (New Homeland) for people of law enforcement wanting a voice in politics.

Once the government started implementing policies in accordance with its FARC peace plan, controversy arose surrounding the role of guerrilla members in politics. Criticism came mostly from the Democratic Center party, which argued that allowing FARC members into politics would be virtually the same as transitional justice — a fact they considered unacceptable.

Members of the Democratic Center have said on multiple occasions that the military could be pressured into confessing to crimes they never committed while also manipulating the legal system to lighten their punishments. Much discussion has been had surrounding whether the officer in command is responsible for the actions of their subordinates.

General Luis Mendieta, who was a victim to the violence of FARC and also part of the negotiation process, reportedly said that Patria Nueva, the party he represents, intends to have a candidate in the 2018 presidential election.

 

Mendieta also said discontent with transitional justice in the peace agreement was a driving factor for the creation of the political party.

Mendieta did not rule out that Patria Nueva can join another political party related to their ideology sometime in the future; however, he said the idea is to present a candidate of their own and make a difference in congress.

Patria Nueva has already appointed directors and other officials, but it has not yet registered with the National Electoral Council because it is waiting for reforms to be made to the peace agreement.

Source: El Espectador

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.