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News > Latin America

Colombian Constitutional Court Extends Truth Commission Mandate

  • Plenary of the Constitutional Court, Colombia, 2021.

    Plenary of the Constitutional Court, Colombia, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ELECTORnoticias

Published 4 October 2021 (1 hours 42 minutes ago)
Opinion

It also ordered President Ivan Duque's administration to ensure the functioning of the Commission through measures such as the provision of a budget for its tasks.

On Friday, Constitutional Court (CC) decided to extend the period of operation of the Truth Commission (CV), an institution created after the signing of the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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The Court supported with an 8-0 vote the report presented by Judge Jorge Ibañez, who recommended that the mandate of the Truth Commission be extended by seven months in addition to the initial three-year period. This extension was requested by the victims of State terrorism to the Constitutional Court, the Attorney General's Office, and CV Commission President Francisco De Roux.

The Truth Commision will continue working until June 2022 and will have two additional months to publish a final report, which is expected to contain specific recommendations to prevent war crimes from recurring.

The Constitutional court took this decision because the pandemic has prevented the Truth Commission from completing its task in the expected time. Judges also considered that the Truth Commision's constitutive mandate referred to its "period of effective functioning"..

The CC orders President Ivan Duque's administration and Congress to ensure the functioning of the Commission through "necessary measures", one of which would be the provision of a budget for the culmination of its tasks.

"We welcome this decision both as a responsibility to the victims and a mark of respect to society, which has a right to know the truth," De Roux said.

The Truth Commission seeks to clarify the events that took place during five decades of war. So far, it has heard over 25,000 testimonies from victims, witnesses, and perpetrators. Among them, five former presidents have already testified.

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