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"There is a serious crisis that has affected the fundamental rights to life, personal integrity, security, and peace of ex-guerilla fighters," Judge Cristina Pardo recognized.
On Thursday, the Colombian Constitutional Court declared a State of Unconstitutional Affairs due to failures in implementing security guarantees for former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) combatants who signed the 2016 Peace Agreement.
"There is a serious crisis that has affected the fundamental rights to life, personal integrity, security, and peace of ex-guerilla fighters," Judge Cristina Pardo recognized, recalling that 303 former FARC members have been murdered over the last five years.
Before this court ruling, former combatants based in the Guaviare and Nariño departments filed several guardianships to the national justice system upon receiving death threats from paramilitary groups dedicated to drug trafficking activities.
“Our lives are in danger, and the measures taken by the Government to counteract this situation had been insufficient,” they stressed. Thanks to the State of Unconstitutional Affairs declaration, a Special Follow-up Chamber in the Constitutional Court will be established in two months to verify the orders issued to guarantee former combatants’ security.
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Besides reassessing the collective protection schemes in former areas of training and reintegration, the High Court will instruct the Ombudsman’s Office to create a mechanism that monitors compliance with policies adopted to protect the lives of former guerrilla fighters.
In the next four months, the National Protection Unit (UNP) will also reassess the risk faced by the Peace Agreement signatories and the members of the Common Party, to which many former FARC combatants belong.
"The Constitutional Court decision is an endorsement of the complaints we have made. However, we have to continue to fight for our rights since agreed guarantees on our socio-economic and political reinstatement have not yet been met," Senator and member of the Commons party Julian Gallo highlighted.