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Colombia and FARC agree to name a “Clarification of the Truth Committee”

Friday, June 5th 2015 - 06:27 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The Committee is to “recognize the victims and the responsibility of those who participated directly or indirectly in the conflict” and has three years for the job The Committee is to “recognize the victims and the responsibility of those who participated directly or indirectly in the conflict” and has three years for the job
A recent surge in violence has been threatening the process, but Colombia's President Santos has said he won't end military action until the final peace deal A recent surge in violence has been threatening the process, but Colombia's President Santos has said he won't end military action until the final peace deal

The Colombian government and FARC guerrillas said they plan to form a truth commission to investigate atrocities committed during the country's five-decade civil war. The agreement was announced on Thursday and will consist of an “independent and impartial” body as soon as a final peace deal is reached.

 “The government will commit to…the clarification of the truth on everything that has taken place during the conflict, including the most serious human rights violations and infractions of international humanitarian law,” said a joint statement released at the close of the latest round of peace talks in the Cuban capital Havana.

Officials from Cuba and Norway are sponsoring the peace negotiations, which have been underway in Havana since November 2012. The talks have previously led to tentative agreements on land reform and compensation, political participation, drug policy and landmine removal. About one year ago, the two sides began to focus on the victims of the civil war.

Thursday's agreement said that the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth would go some way to “recognize the victims and the responsibility of those who participated directly or indirectly in the conflict.” However, it won't have the power to punish perpetrators, and the information it brings to light cannot be used in court. Eleven commissioners, appointed by both parties, will have three years to complete the body's task.

The agreement marks a step forward in the peace talks, which resumed a week ago despite a recent surge in violence in Colombia. At least 40 rebel fighters have been killed in government bombing raids over the past two weeks, prompting FARC to abandon an unilateral ceasefire it had declared in December.

The Marxist inspired and drugs funded guerillas have repeatedly called for a bilateral ceasefire, but Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has said he won't end military action until a final peace deal has been reached.

His government however did suspended airstrikes against the rebels in March, in recognition of the ceasefire, but later reversed the decision following a FARC attack on its soldiers. The country's war has left more than 220,000 people dead and displaced close to 5 million since 1964.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • Skip

    So the peace process continues.....

    Jun 05th, 2015 - 09:53 am 0
  • ChrisR

    What is it with these backward nations?

    Are they trying to emulate south Africa where they all sat around a table voicing what was wrong with the world and that's it?

    Some years ago a female friend told me how she loved to 'meet the girls' and talk about her personal difficulties, and of course her friends personal difficulties. So when I asked if they ever resolved things for the better she looked shocked, “very seldom, but we always feel better after we get it out into the open”.

    Strange creatures.

    Jun 05th, 2015 - 11:03 am 0
  • CabezaDura2

    Great stuff Colombians.

    You had the man and the option last year: Zuñiga and cancel the negociations.

    Now more of the same....

    Jun 05th, 2015 - 07:01 pm 0
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