By Jenny Rocio Angarita, RCN Radio, Thursday, July 17, 2020

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The President of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Justice Patricia Linares, has stated that the Court would issue the first kidnapping indictment before the end of this year.

In an interview with RCN Radio, Justice Linares said that the progress of the System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and No Repetition has been significant and positive, considering all that this country experienced and suffered in the armed conflict that lasted more than seven decades.

“We hope that we will be able to complete what is called the indictment in Case No. 001 before the end of this year. The indictment is the necessary precedent to the hearing on admission of responsibility, and to the hearing on the determination of conclusions,” she said.

The President of the JEP also emphasized that international organizations dedicated to the protection of human rights have recognized the role that this Court plays in assembling the truth about what took place during the armed confrontation between the Colombian government and the now-extinct FARC guerrillas.

“We are working 100 percent. Yesterday we heard Felipe González and former President Mojica, recognizing the significant advances and the importance of the system, perhaps because they can view it with the calm of distance and with the objectivity of those who did not suffer the pain of the war in Colombia, and because they have a deep understanding of these subjects,” she indicated.

In that connection, she explained that the criticisms against the transitional justice system are part of the permanent debate about the peace agreement.

“It’s a product of the peace process, of transitional justice, of the Truth Commission, and it’s the central point of a political debate that is really not fitting and that is doing a lot of damage in this kind of cases,” stated Linares.

On another topic, Justice Patricia Linares referred to a declaration that the JEP had made on the subject of making hearings in the case of recruitment of minors open to the public.

She explained that they have been analyzing that decision for some time, and she added that it had nothing to do with the letter sent to the special Court by the FARC party.

“That decision is the product of an analysis lasting several weeks by the Admitting Truth and Responsibility Branch, which has jurisdiction over that work. It was a coincidence that they sent that letter, but the matter is legal and it is complex,” she said.

Linares also pointed out that the Justices that are responsible for that case could consider lifting the confidentiality of the hearings that they are conducting.

More information: “We thought we were doing the right thing”: Londoño’s statement about the “terrible” mistake of kidnapping people.

Linares noted that “the principle that governs judicial orders is to make them public. Nevertheless, when there are certain limitations contemplated in the law, the judges have to impose confidentiality on certain kinds of legal proceedings, for example, the protection of the victims, of their privacy, the lives and security of the people that take part, and when there can be some kind of risk in taking part in these proceedings.”

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