By María Isabel Ortiz Fonnegra, EL TIEMPO, March 28, 2023
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
This Monday, the President of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Justice Roberto Vidal, met with Karim Khan, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (CPI), as part of a work visit he is pursuing to the court system at The Hague, Brussels, and Geneva, between January 27 and March 31.
According to Justice Vidal’s report, the meeting turned “around the recognition of the JEP, our development and progress, and pointing to the challenges of the transitional justice model to the international criminal justice system, belonging to one single system, the place of the JEP in the global system of the Statute of Rome, and the need for the work of the Court in the Hague and that of the Special Jurisdiction in Colombia to be complementary.
Moreover, after the meeting, Chief Prosecutor Khan highlighted the work of the JEP to achieve justice in international crimes and its willingness to extend relations with the court system with the point of view of being complementary in a positive manner.
“The JEP is a model that meets the standards of the Statute of Rome and that attends to the needs of the victims,” stated the CPI Chief Prosecutor, who in October 2021 closed the preliminary examination of Colombia that the Court had held open for 17 years.
Besides this meeting with the International Criminal Court, this week the President of the JEP met with members of the European Parliament and, in Belgium, with representatives of the governments, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljari Egger; as well as with Václav Bálek, President of the U. N. Human Rights Council.
President Vidal also plans to meet with the Director of the International Migration Organization; with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and with representatives of several nongovernmental human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, PAX, Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation; Anne Frank House Foundation; World Nature Fund, and Kerk in Actie.
“The JEP appreciates the fact that the international community has actively supported its labors to achieve a stable and lasting peace in Colombia. Therefore, as one of the issues that were discussed in the meetings, Justice Vidal will reiterate the gratitude for the financing that the European countries have furnished for the different activities that have permitted the strengthening of the work of the JEP, and it will make an assessment of its accomplishments with those funds,” explained the JEP in a statement.
Besides its gratitude for the cooperation in economic resources, Vidal will explain its progress in the six Orders Determining Actions and Conducts issued by the JEP’s Recognition of the Truth Branch, which has filed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against 78 persons whose appearances the JEP has accepted, from the FARC-EP, from the Armed Forces, and from other agents of the government.
Of the 78, a total of 61 have admitted their responsibility for the acts charged, 13 are on a path to doing that, and five, who have denied their responsibility have been sent to the JEP Unit for Investigation and Accusation (UIA), which will charge them before the Peace Tribunal, where, if they are found guilty, they will receive sanctions of up to 20 years in prison.
Finally, in his work visit with a number of entities in Europe, the President of the JEP will emphasize that this Court has been converted into “a model of transitional justice with a restorative focus” on the international front.