Sat. May 28th, 2022

The decision comes after about 300 former rebel fighters were killed since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement.

Colombia’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to protect disarmed former left-wing rebel fighters a spate of murders.

In a ruling released Friday, the constitutional court said the former Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) rebels’ “fundamental rights to life, personal integrity and peace” have been ignored by the Colombian state.

About 300 former FARC fighters who signed A 2016 peace agreement with the government, bringing an end to their half-century-old conflict with the state, was assassinated.

Given the “large number of signatories to the final peace agreement who were victims of murder and the low level of implementation of rules regarding the security guarantees for those who were disarmed, the court also decided to declare a ‘state of unconstitutional things'”. Judge Cristina Pardo said in an online presentation of the verdict.

The state of unconstitutional things is a mechanism that can be activated in the event of serious violations of fundamental rights and the proven inability of the state to protect victims.

The court ordered the government to take the necessary measures to guarantee the safety of former rebels, as stipulated in the peace agreement. The verdict now passed by five votes to four.

Indigenous guard carries the coffin of indigenous leader Albeiro CamayoPresident Ivan Duque has unsuccessfully tried to change the terms of the peace agreement signed by his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos [File: Andres Gonzalez/AP Photo]

The decision includes the creation of a special chamber within the court to verify that the government is complying with the order.

The ruling also calls on the National Protection Unit, which is responsible for protecting people at risk, to reconsider the risk the former fighters face and to take measures to prevent them from being killed.

The government’s top presidential adviser Emilio Archila criticized the decision, but pledged to respect it.

“I really do not agree that the conditions exist to declare a state of unconstitutional things,” Archila told Blu Radio.

President Ivan Duquewho has been in power since 2018, has unsuccessfully tried to change the terms of the peace agreement, signed by his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos, by parliament.

The agreement disarmed and dissolved the FARC to create a communist political party in its place, which had little public support.

Authorities blame murders dissident FARC fighters who took up arms, and other criminal groups.

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