Posted on February 27, 2017 9:23 am
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Categories: Human Rights

For Real Representation of Afro Colombians and Indigenous at the JEP (Special Jurisdiction for Peace) Courts (S)

Congressional fast-track implementation of the peace agreement is leaving ethnic peoples out. Long before negotiations started in Havana, peace labs took place in the nasa territories of Cauca, or with the Sierra wiwas, or the black communities in the Pacific, who resisted rising up in arms or leaving in the middle of Guerrilla and paramilitary violence and state stigmatization. Approximately 800,000 Afro Colombians were displaced and some 200,000 Indians were expelled from their ancestral territories. Still to be told to the Truth Commission and the JEP (Special Jurisdiction for Peace) are the thousands of stories of suffering , such as the entire families of Kankuamos ravaged by the paramilitaries in the Sierra, or by FARC in the black territory of Bojayá.

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Another crack is opening in the JEP. Just as there are almost no Indians or Afro Colombians in the high courts, there could also not be any in the courts and courtrooms where the claims of victims from those populations will be decided. As proposed by the ethnic organizations, the rules or selection criteria for JEP judges should require the inclusion of indigenous and Afro-American lawyers with proven track records in defense of human rights and the rights of ethnic peoples. It is the least recognition owed to ethnic peoples and organizations such as ONIC (Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia), which is celebrating 35 years of fighting for peace — César Rodríguez Garavito, El Espectador