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Colombia: Peace Mail - October 30-November 5, 2018

Source: International Organization for Migration, US Agency for International Development Country: Colombia
Weekly Update on the implementation of the Peace Accord. The final peace accord contains a three-pronged approach to ensuring fulfillment of commitments included in the text: the Commission for Monitoring, Promotion, and Verification of the Implementation of the Peace Accord (CSIVI), the National Reincorporation Council (CNR) and the GOC-FARC-UN tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MM V). A report by the Kroc Institute issued on 31 October showed that 51 percent of the Peace Accord’s 130 commitments including a gender perspective have not begun implementation, and only five have been completed. Key delays are in Integrated Rural Reform (Point 1), security guarantees and the reincorporation of women former combatants (Point 2/3), and illicit crop substitution (Point 4). The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) has accepted the cases of four retired Army generals already convicted by the ordinary justice system for crimes including the 1997 Mapiripán massacre in Meta, the murder of journalist Jaime Garzón, and extrajudicial killings (or false positives) in Medellín and Casanare. All have been released pending entry into the JEP, where they will be obliged to fulfil transitional justice commitments to truth, reparations, and non-repetition. Another five high-ranking military servicemen are awaiting a decision on their acceptance into the JEP. An agreement to include 14 further magistrates in the JEP to assume the cases of military and state agents was reached in Congress on 1 November as a compromise between diverse political actors responding to the Centro Democrático proposal to create separate courts for these cases. The FARC was the only party to vote against the agreement, citing concerns with regards the GOC’s commitment to the Peace Accord and victims’ rights to truth and justice. Six people were killed, including a former FARC combatant, during two shootings in López de Micay, Cauca, over 29-31 October. This comes just months after seven people were killed in Argelia (also on the Micay River) in July, for which arrest warrants have been issued for ELN leaders, and days after confrontations between civilians and public forces resulted in the death of a police officer. The Micay River, and the access it provides to the Pacific Ocean, has been an epicenter of confrontations between FARC dissidents, the ELN, and drug trafficking groups with links to Mexican cartels. Displacement, restricted mobility, threats against social and community leaders, and sexual violence have increased, and multidimensional poverty and uncertainty surrounding crop substitution have fueled tensions and the risks of recruitment. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the ELN to release hostages and provide information on those who have died on 30 October, citing International Humanitarian Law’s (IHL) prohibition of hostage-taking, which they claim constitutes a war crime and cannot be negotiated. The ELN, however, insists on the legitimacy of its economic and political kidnappings as an insurgent, revolutionary organization. The GOC has repeatedly called for the release of hostages and the cessation of illegal activities before resuming negotiations, this week specifying the businesswoman kidnapped in Antioquia on 27 September. According to figures presented by Legal Medicine and debated in the Legal Commission for Women’s Equity this week, 1,724 women have been murdered from 2017 to date. Several senators called for public officials’ recognition of the seriousness of violence perpetrated against women, and suggested that femicide (recognized an autonomous crime since 2015) is not only a legal issue, but also educational and cultural. Reports show femicide is concentrated amongst women aged 20-24, and is mostly perpetrated by former and current partners within the home.

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