Transitional Justice for Rank-And-File Combatants in Colombia

CONFLICT RESOLUTION - MEDIATION, 23 Mar 2015

Silke Pfeiffer, Norwegian Peace Building Resource Center-NOREF - TRANSCEND Media Service

Insights from Law nº 1424

As the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Colombian government negotiate a viable transitional justice formula, they will need to devise a solution for combatants who do not fall into the category of being most responsible for the most serious crimes, but are involved to a lesser extent with serious crimes.

Despite the differences in the context and actors involved, they are well advised to draw on lessons learned from the implementation of Law no. 1424. In 2010 this transitional justice scheme altered the deal that was originally offered to demobilised paramilitary combatants not covered by the Justice and Peace Law. Combining judicial and administrative proceedings, it takes them to court, but exempts them from prison in exchange for truth-telling and other obligations. As of 2014 the implementing institutions have made headway in processing over 24,000 registered individuals, most of them former rank-and-file paramilitaries.

However, a number of challenges have mirrored the problems that marked the law’s genesis, as well as poor inter-institutional alignment. The loss of trust following changes to the rules has strained the processes of truth-telling and reintegration, and ordinary and transitional justice proceedings are not in tune. There are trade-offs in the way in which the various transitional justice and reintegration provisions are applied and connected.

Seizing the opportunity of an entirely different negotiation scenario, today’s protagonists have the chance to address the shortcomings of Law 1424. If it is to create appropriate reintegration incentives while effectively upholding victims’ rights, a deal will need to connect judicial and non-judicial formulas in a coherent, strategic and implementable way.

Download Full Text: Transitional justice for rank-and-file combatants in Colombia

_____________________________

Silke Pfeiffer was the Colombia/Andes director for the International Crisis Group in Bogotá from 2010 to 2013. Previously she led the Americas Department at Transparency International. She has consulted for numerous international development organisations on governance and conflict matters and taught at the universities of Chile and Potsdam (Germany). 

Go to Original – peacebuilding.no

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Comments are closed.