After more than three months of debate, the nine judges in Colombia's constitutional court have ruled that the peace deal signed last year between the government and the FARC rebels will be legally protected for the next 12 years.
The agreement, which ended more than half a century of armed conflict, will be legally binding for the next three governments, regardless of the elected political party, stated the judges in a unanimous decision. The ruling highlighted the constitutional right of Colombians to live in peace.
It followed a request by Judge Luis Guillermo Guerrero to force the next three presidents of the country to respect the pact. He first received the support of the so-called “conservative judges” of the court, Carlos Bernal, Gloria Stella Ortiz and Ivan Escruceria.
However, the “liberal judges” of the court — Alejandro Linares, Alberto Rojas, Antonio Jose Lizarazo and Diana Fajardo, believed that the accord was already intrinsically constitutional, without any condition or limitation, and met all the requirements to be formally introduced in the Constitution exactly as it was approved by Congress.
Three months later, the judges finally reached a consensus, reliving the supporters of the peace agreements who feared the next president could refuse to implement the accord after the rebels handed in their weapons and demobilized.
The former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has been the loudest opponent of the deal, promising to undo various aspects should he be elected in the next polls.
Uribe reacted to the court's decision saying that it represented “the sure sign of democratic destruction.”