First, what’s ugly about it? No referendum. More on that in a moment.
Here’s the Comunicado conjunto # 60 sobre el Acuerdo de creación de una Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (and the English Summary of the September 23 Government-FARC Communiqué on the Transitional Justice Accord). I could not find the text of the accord itself, but the Communiqué states,
While it is not in the text of the accord, President Juan Manuel Santos said that the sides have agreed to sign a final accord within the next six months.
Steven Taylor is optimistic,
Hopefully the current process will lead to real justice and reconciliation as well as a better state presence in the frontier regions of Colombia.
Mary O’Grady is not as sanguine:
Colombia’s Dubious Deal With Terrorists: Why President Santos won’t let voters decide the fate of his FARC peace agreement.
For starters, the White House pressured for a deal.
Pope Che intervened during last week’s visit to Cuba,
Referring to four years of Colombian government negotiations in Havana with the drug-trafficking terrorist group FARC, Pope Francis said “Please, we do not have the right to allow ourselves yet another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation.” That was pope-speak for “get this done.”
Then there’s the secrecy. As I stated above, as of the writing of this post I could not find the text of the accord itself, only of the Communiqué. O’Grady points out (emphasis added):
FARC atrocities will not land the perpetrators in jail. Instead they will go before one of two special tribunals, which will include judges from other countries. What countries, nobody knows.
If the accused acknowledge their crimes, their most severe penalties will be confinement to the rural areas where they already live, for five to eight years, and some community service. In the case of crimes against humanity this will violate Colombia’s commitments under the Geneva convention.
At the same time, the military, and members of the civilian government and civil society would be on trial alongside the terrorists – would they simply be sentenced to confinement to the areas where they already live, and some community service?
The FARC has said it will not turn over its weapons. It owes reparations to victims and the nation, but how it will pay its debts or to whom nobody knows. FARC leaders will enter politics flush with cash acquired in the cocaine and kidnapping trades.
Last year Mr. Santos announced that he wanted to widen the definition of a political crime to include drug trafficking so that the FARC could claim that they are not gangsters but political actors. This was so he could meet their demand of no jail time.
O’Grady doesn’t mention that the Communiqué describes a number of vague measures, such as “Una ley de amnistía precisará el alcance de la conexidad.” (An amnesty law will specify the extent of the connectedness – what does that mean?), and that some crimes would fall exclusively under the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, the one with judges from unspecified foreign countries.
However, one thing is clear: Santos doesn’t want a referendum, as O’Grady states,
I’ve lost count of how many times Mr. Santos told me personally that Colombians would have a chance to vote on whatever was agreed upon in Havana. He repeated that pledge in interviews and numerous speeches to the nation. Yet on a radio show in August he stated categorically “I have never been on board with a referendum.” Now he calls a referendum “suicide.
Santos wants special commissions in Congress to approve the agreement, and is asking Congress for an enabling law granting him special powers
for 180 days so that he can dictate implementation of the deal.
Former president (who delivered the FARC a Terrible, Horrible, no Good, very Bad Year in 2008) and current senator Alvaro Uribe is opposed to the deal, but he’s not alone: Breakthrough in Farc talks triggers backlash in Colombia.
“#AccordOfImpunity Santos and Farc will nominate the Tribunal that Congress will ratify. Terrorism imposes justice. Where are we heading?”
#AcuerdoDeImpunidad Santos y Farc nombrarán el Tribunal que el Congreso ratificará. Terrorismo impone justicia. Hacía dónde vamos?
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) September 26, 2015