The Ministers of the Interior, Alfonso Prada, and of Justice, Néstor Osuna, have presented this Wednesday before the Colombian Congress the bill for the subjugation of armed groups without political status, within the “total peace” initiative that the Government is advancing of the president, Gustavo Petro.
“The initiative contains a generous offer from the State for these structures,” said Osuna, who has assured these groups that they will obtain “more benign penal treatment” as long as they surrender, stop committing crimes, hand over their property and information about their operations and repair the victims.
Likewise, the legislative initiative is designed for those armed groups that have not been granted political status, such as the Clan del Golfo, or paramilitary structures. “It is a project subject to ordinary justice,” he stressed, in line with the previous clarifications of President Petro.
In that, the Minister of the Interior has stressed that the Government will not negotiate any peace with this type of armed structures and that, therefore, they will submit to the corresponding criminal proceedings, although they could harm them if they collaborate with the authorities, as is already the case with others. common criminals.
“There is no peace process,” he said, but a procedure with an initial negotiation that continues in a second phase of a criminal nature under the command of the Prosecutor’s Office, which will end with the decisions of the judges. “They are the instruments to disarm all the sources of violence that generate blood in the territory”, he said.
The text, which from the government bench in Congress insists that it will not generate impunity, prison sentences of between six and eight years for those who take advantage of the plan, in addition to creating a space fund to repair the financed victims with the goods illegally acquired by these people.
Who will not be able to take advantage of this mechanism are the chiefs and main leaders of this type of armed groups, nor those who obtained serious crimes against Human Rights, crimes against humanity or genocide.
The Government’s plan provides for a four-year trial period in which the armed group wishing to submit to this mechanism must give real evidence of having ceased its illegal activities, also participating in justice and integration programs. The authorities reserve the right to suspend the process if there is no compliance by the other party.
In the event that it obtains the go-ahead from Congress, the Petro government will then be able to start talks to destructure these groups in exchange for legal benefits, while it finds peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN), pending that the same process begin with the dissidents of the FARC, the only ones with groups of a political nature.