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Colombia Gov’t Ordered to Uphold Peace Agreement

On 30 July, Colombia’s transitional justice system (JEP) ordered the government to take additional precautionary measures to prevent violence against demobilised combatants from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group.
Colombia Peace Agreement Farc guerrilla


Since the demobilisation of the Farc following its 2016 peace agreement with the Colombian government, an estimated 222 former combatants have been killed, according to the United Nations (UN) peace verification mission in Colombia. The number of victims has increased every year since 2016, and with 49 such assassinations reported so far in 2020 (compared to 77 in the whole of 2019), this year looks set to be the most deadly yet. Critics have accused President Iván Duque’s government of contributing to this escalation since coming to power in 2018, through its hard-line security policies and alleged disregard for the peace agreement; in June, the UN mission urged the government to “cease inciting violence” against demobilised guerrillas, and to “take immediate steps to implement the peace accords”.

  • Responding to an appeal for help from the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común, the political successor to the demobilised guerrilla group, the JEP cited both the peace agreement and Colombia’s constitution to highlight the state’s responsibility to protect demobilised combatants, and to support their participation in the ongoing peace process.
  • The JEP tasked Duque’s high commissioner for peace, Miguel Ceballos, with overseeing the enforcement of the comprehensive protection programme (PPI) for former Farc combatants, and the co-ordination of a strategy to identify and combat those responsible for these assassinations.
  • The killings are generally attributed to the paramilitary forces that opposed the Farc during Colombia’s armed conflict, or to dissident factions of the Farc that have remobilised since 2016, often directly citing the government’s failure to comply with the peace agreement, or provide former combatants with proper protection.

Looking Ahead:

On 28 July, JEP president Patricia Linares called on the government to respect the institution’s “autonomy and independence”, in keeping with the separation of powers and the rule of law. There are growing concerns for the future of the JEP, after Duque recently questioned the effectiveness of the transitional justice process, and in February Attorney General Francisco Barbosa explicitly stated his desire to phase out the JEP.

In brief: Ecuador delays debt restructuring deadline

* Ecuador’s economy ministry has agreed to delay the deadline for finalising a debt restructuring deal with foreign bondholders, from today (31 July) until 3 August, “as an act of good faith”, at the request of the New York federal district court that is hearing the legal case against the government’s restructuring proposal, filed by two investment funds on 29 July. The statement from the economy ministry followed the first hearing of this case, and insisted that while it does not anticipate a ruling that will threaten the finalisation of an agreement with the required 66% of bondholders, this extra time will help to complete negotiations, in light of the disruption caused by the lawsuit.


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