Colombian Attorney General’s Office asks to declare the total peace law promoted by Petro unconstitutional

Colombian Attorney General’s Office asks to declare the total peace law promoted by Petro unconstitutional

The Colombian Attorney General’s Office recently asked the Constitutional Court to annul the Total Peace law approved by the government of President Gustavo Petro to facilitate negotiations with armed groups, at a time when the president is evaluating talks with the Liberation Army Nacional (ELN) after an attack in which nine soldiers were killed.

According to the Attorney General, Margarita Cabello Blanco, the regulations “do not conform to the Constitution” for having “violated the principle of consecutiveness, which requires that bills be processed in four successive debates” in the commissions and in the plenary session of both Houses of Congress.

He also pointed out “that several provisions of the norm were not studied in the strict sense by the commissions, since they were proposed only until the deliberations before the plenary sessions,” according to a statement posted on the official website of the judicial body.

In addition, it considers that the provisions of the Total Peace Law are unconstitutional “as well as the regulation that allows dissidents in peace processes to negotiate again with the national government and obtain benefits without limitations.”

The Attorney General pointed out that, although the Public Ministry “recognizes the duty of the State to promote the end of violence in the country and, therefore, is aware of the importance that negotiations may have as mechanisms to achieve said objective, the truth is that the policies and plans that are proposed for this purpose must be clear and precise so that there is no doubt that they are consistent with the constitutional provisions.”

This request to the Constitutional Court was made known the same day that Petro met with the group of negotiators and the members of the international community in charge of dialogue with the ELN.

In a press conference after the meeting, the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, assured that “the ELN has an immediate responsibility in its hands to generate hope in society” after the latest guerrilla attacks in the that nine soldiers died in Norte de Santander.

“These painful events do not subside, but, on the contrary, strengthen the construction of the peace project of this Government. It is not with more deaths, of any Colombian or Colombian, that peace is consolidated,” the commissioner said in statements reproduced by the Europa Press news agency.

The government’s chief negotiator, Otty Patiño, underscored the two points that raise doubts between the government and the negotiating group regarding continuing the dialogue with this guerrilla group: “First, the great question of whether the ELN is using the talks to strengthen itself in their territories, strengthen themselves as an organization, or if, on the contrary, their stay at the table means a real vocation for peace”.

“Another element, the ELN claims to be a political organization, but this recognition as a political organization has to do, not only with something that is written on paper, but really with attitudes and facts,” he added.

The peace talks between the Government and the ELN, the last guerrilla standing, not counting the dissidents of the extinct FARC, were promoted by the current president when he took office, but the latest attack caused a new crisis at the dialogue table.

The Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Prada, described as “shameful” “to be sitting at a table when there is such a degree of atrocity against the public forces”, although he acknowledged that it is “difficult” to make the decision to withdraw from the talks.

“The aggression that they committed against the members of the Colombian Army while they were at a table offends intelligence and the Colombian people,” he said.

The Government and the ELN began the first cycle of negotiations between November and December 2022 in Caracas, Venezuela, with a bilateral ceasefire as the main agreement reached, although the guerrillas subsequently disregarded it, alleging that it was a proposal that it had not yet been reviewed.

This was one of the points that was addressed this year in the talks that took place in Mexico City, although the continuity of the attacks casts doubt on whether there really was progress.

With no date set yet, a third round of negotiations is scheduled to be held in Havana.

Source: Ambito

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