“The Colombian Government policies over the past three years have contributed to the dismantling of the rule of law and the consolidation of impunity”, said the ICJ in a new report released today.
The report documents how the legislation adopted or announced by the Government in the framework of its democratic security policy is dismantling the rule of law, undermining the independence of the judiciary and aggravating the human rights situation.
The ICJ also deplores the adoption, in the framework of the process of demobilization of paramilitaries, of a legislation (Decree 128 of 2003 and “Justice and Peace” Law) that leads to impunity for thousands of crimes committed by paramilitary groups and does not guarantee the rights of victims to justice, peace and reparation.
Since the beginning of the process, thousands of paramilitaries demobilized although they continued to commit hundreds of crimes, such as killings or forced disappearances.
“This process has been far from transparent and never accompanied by an effective monitoring mechanism. Rather than ending paramilitarism in Colombia, it consolidates paramilitaries’ political and economic power.”, said the ICJ.
In its recommendations, the ICJ calls on the Colombian Government to review its security policy to make it compatible with the rule of law and Colombia’s international obligations, and to repeal any legislation contributing to impunity. It also urges the Government to undertake measures towards the effective dismantling of paramilitary structures and to prosecute before ordinary courts police and military personnel involved in paramilitary activities, human rights violations, crimes against humanity and/or war crimes.
The ICJ also calls on the international community to ensure that its cooperation strategy is conditioned by Colombia’s adoption of effective measures against impunity and that uphold the rule of law.
“Given the existing legislation, which legalizes impunity, and the magnitude of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Colombia, the International Criminal Court should act,” concluded the ICJ.
Colombia-summary recommendation-web story-2005 (full text in English, PDF)
see also the report Colombia : socavando el estado de derecho y consolidando la impunidadNewsPress releases