President Iván Duque, in a televised address on 10 March, announced his decision to object to six of the 159 articles that make up the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) - a structural instrument of utmost importance for the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian State and the FARC-EP (today People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force) - making its functioning unviable and distancing Colombian society, which has suffered because of the war, from advancing in the peace process with social justice.
The Peace Agreement recognizes and admits that war has hit women in different ways, and therefore measures that meet our needs were established in the framework of the Final Agreement. Regarding the differentiated approach to gender, the functioning of the JEP should meet the needs of the victims, women and children, who have suffered human rights violations during the war, and the measures of reparation and restoration, should recognise the special suffering of women, and the importance of their active and equal participation in the JEP.
According to the article related to sexual violence, the JEP will guarantee victims the duty of due diligence, the right to privacy, having to refrain, in particular, from carrying out practices of evidence that imply an unreasonable, unnecessary and disproportionate interference with her intimate life, and lead to comprehensive attention and full justice for the Colombian women who have been violated.
In the current post-agreement context, the JEP brings important challenges to the guarantee of the rights of women ex-fighters and requires a scenario to develop a high-impact litigation that guarantees the right to defense and due process to avoid stereotypes that limit and alienate women from access to justice, managing to bring judicial truth closer to the experiences and needs of women. All of this in consequence of the General Recommendation 33 of the CEDAW Committee on women's access to justice.
The above said should lead to the recognition of the status of citizenship of ex-guerrilla women and their political action towards access to justice, expanding the legal scenario to other roles and places occupied by women in the context of the armed conflict. This line has the objective of guaranteeing the right to defense and due process of women ex-guerrillas that are required before the JEP and other instances, as well as judicial defense of ex-guerrilla women in the transitional justice process, accompaniment to women who are in prison, representation of ex-guerrilla women victims of violence exercised by the State, with an aim to eliminate barriers and obstacles to access to fundamental rights during the transition into civilian life of guerrilla women.
Faced with the objections of President Duque and the attack against the Peace Agreement, we call on all the progressive organizations, the friends and supporters who participate in the sit-in in the Plazoleta de San Francisco, this Wednesday, 13 March at 5 pm, to denounce the breaches by the government and defend the peace process.