EXPANSION OF MILITARY JURISDICTION: A “historic setback” for Colombia

autor: oidhaco

(04.2013) In December 2012, the Congress adopted the constitutional reform that expands military criminal jurisdictioni, pushed by the government of President Santosii. This document offers an analysis of the reform and the context in which it is has been adopted. As various UN bodies have pointed out, the expansion of military jurisdiction severely affects the administration of justice and violates the right of victims to truth, justice and reparation. It poses a serious risk to the already ingrained and widespread impunity and gives a permissive signal to the security forces, who are already responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes, to continue violating human rights and international humanitarian law.

We therefore ask the European Union, its Member States, Switzerland and Norway, to:

– Urgently reiterate their concern about this reform and to call upon the Colombian authorities to revoke these provisions and to refrain from promoting and adopting reforms to strengthen and/or lead to impunity for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as reforms that undermine the independence of justice and the balance of powers;

– Call upon the Colombian authorities to implement the recommendations that have been made by the different mechanisms of the United Nations in this regard, particularly in the latest report from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia (7 January 2013), in the Universal Periodic Review (2008) and by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in his latest report (May 15, 2012), in order to address impunity for crimes committed by State agents, and to comply with the right of victims to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition.

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