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Duque Objects to Six Articles in Colombia’s Peace Accord, Further Delaying its Implementation

President Iván Duque of Colombia objected to six of the 159 articles of the Peace Accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and has returned the Accord to Congress for adjustment, citing “reasons of inconvenience.”  

President Iván Duque. Photo:  Reuters

President Iván Duque. Photo: Reuters

This Peace Treaty was rejected by voters in a plebiscite in 2016 and was later ratified in the same year and approved by Congress.

The Peace Treaty was intended to end a civil conflict that spanned more than five decades between the government of Colombia and the FARC. The FARC were previously known as the guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- People’s Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia- Ejército del Pueblo), and are now referred to as the political party, the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común).

President Duque announced his decision of disapproval in front of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Justicia Especial para la Paz), which is in charge of investigating and sentencing those responsible for the crimes committed during the decades of armed conflict.

President Duque announced, “Us Colombians want and need a peace that unites us and we must all contribute in a permanent manner to achieve this objective.”

President Duque objected to the six articles on the premises that one was not clear on the aggressors’ obligations to repair damages to the victims; one did not recognize the competence of the High Commission for Peace; one renounced any legal action against crimes against humanity, genocide, or war crimes; one suspended ordinary judicial investigations to aggressors who submit to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace; and two set conditions against extradition to said aggressors.  

The President also proposed an exclusion of this agreement to sex crimes against underaged individuals as well as an exclusion of those who commit further crimes.

President Duque’s objections to the Peace Accord are expected to delay its implementation for at least several months, if not more.

A cloth embroidered by victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, which reads, “The history of Colombia is always cruel and heavy for us women.” Photo: Luisa Gonzalez/  Reuters

A cloth embroidered by victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, which reads, “The history of Colombia is always cruel and heavy for us women.” Photo: Luisa Gonzalez/ Reuters

In response to President Duque’s objections to the Peace Accord, various politicians and members of Colombian society sent a letter to the Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations, imploring the United Nations to have a strict observation of the situation in Colombia.

The letter states that the President’s objections to the letter “greatly harm the implementation of the Peace Agreement with the FARC, the structure and operation of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, as well as the system designed to honor the rights of the victims.”

This letter was signed by Former Vice President Humberto de la Calle Lombana, Former Chancellor María Ángela Holguín, Former Minister Juan Fernando Cristo Bustos, and President of the FARC Party Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, among others.