LatinNews Daily - 15 May 2023

US designates former Colombian military officials over rights abuses

Colombia: On 4 May the US State Department announced that it was designating three Colombian former military officials, former colonels Publio Hernán Mejía Gutiérrez and Juan Carlos Figueroa Suárez, and former general Iván Ramírez Quintero, for their alleged involvement in gross human rights violations during Colombia’s decades-long internal armed conflict. In a press release, the State Department said that it was taking these actions to promote accountability, noting that it had “proudly supported Colombia’s Peace Accord since its signing in 2016”. It noted that the peace agreement addresses conflict-related atrocities and abuses which took place over more than 50 years, through a Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, and that this system relies on several transitional justice institutions that advance justice and accountability – particularly the special jurisdiction for peace (JEP). The State Department said that as a result of the designations, the three officials are ineligible for entry into the US. It concludes the statement by commending the JEP “for its vital work in support of conflict victims and survivors,” affirming that it “will continue to work alongside Colombian and international partners to support the full implementation of the 2016 Peace Accord”.

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