Of the seven judges of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) who participated in the decision on whether or not to accept the submission of the former paramilitary, Salvatore Mancuso, three saved their vote, that is to say, did not agree with the decision.
One of them was the judge Nadiezhda Henriquez, who is the rapporteur of the case, 04 the JEP, on the territorial situation of the armed conflict in Urabá, for which it could be considered that Mancuso could contribute in the elucidation of facts of the conflict.
In addition to the judge Henríquez, the judges Óscar Parra and Belkis Left also opposed to reject Mancuso. His position was sitting in a document of 10 pages with an effective date of June 10.
(It may be of interest: Defense of Mancuso appeals the decision of the JEP not to accept it).
The judges Parra and Left agree that Mancuso could not be accepted in the JEP for its role as a paramilitary, but consider if you could accept under the figure of a third civilian, in the period preceding their entry to full paramilitary groups created by the brothers Castaño Gil.
“It was possible to take advantage of the elucidation of truth, which offered to provide as a third civil, exceptionally in the framework of the case 04, who knows in the region of Urabá, prioritized by the living Recognition of this Jurisdiction and during the period in which the applicant did not belong to these armed groups,” reads the document of the justices of the Room of Recognition of the Truth of the JEP.
However, this argument collides with the one that was in the majority in the decision to reject Mancuso: that even in the period previous to this entered to the Autodefensas Campesinas de Córdoba and Urabá, in 1997, and the United Self-defense forces of Colombia, in 1998, Mancuso did not act as a civil funder or sponsor of the self, but as a combatant in irregular groups which were the germ of the device group.
(To learn more: The reasons for the JEP to reject Salvatore Mancuso).
In this regard, ensure the judge Parra and the magistrate Left the Room made an “assessment incomplete of what is provided by the applicant,” Mancuso, for three reasons. The first is taken as the reference of their participation in the conflict of their last years to the paramilitary demobilization, “however, this participation does not necessarily imply that all its involvement in the conflict has been given under that condition”, they say.
The second reason is that in order to reach its conclusion, the board of the JEP is focused on the advanced for Peace and Justice, “whose emphasis has been in the military, leaving to the ordinary justice system the study of maximum civil responsibilities, such as funders and promoters”. The judges dissenting from the decision to reject Mancuso ensure that this has as a consequence that there are relevant elements for the JEP that “are not visible in the sources the court analyzed”.
In the third place, consider that “the majority of the Room assumes that a condition is incompatible with the other, so that you do not know the case-law of the Section of Appeals stated that it allows the existence of a plurality of roles in the conflict”, in reference to the roles of civilian and combatant, a person would have been able to hold in the conflict.
The Room of Recognition could not miss the opportunity to promote the elucidation of truth offered by the applicant as a third party civil
The judges Parra-Left and points to the difficulty of the decision that they had in their hands, and suggest that the proceeding was not the most appropriate, “without spoiling the taking of a testimony or interview to mr. Mancuso, or to have the level of participation of victims in the discussion”, they assure.
The judges pick up what was said by the Section of Appeal, that is the instance of closure in the JEP, in the sense that regarding the contribution to the truth “welcome exceptional of a paramilitary to the JEP as a third party collaborator or funder does not depend on the status that he held as a militant, but the significance of the contribution to the truth that seeks to make”.
Subsequently, the judges explained that, while the JEP can only impute criminal proceedings against members of the former Farc, the Force Public or to third parties that have been submitted voluntarily, in cases such as Urabá, the work of elucidating the patterns of macrocriminalidad goes beyond these actors.
“In these territories, involving multiple armed actors, and their existence and maintenance, as well as the degradation of the armed conflict, responded not only to the actions of each one of the armed groups considered individually (Farc-EP and Public forces), but also to the interrelationship of these with each other and with other armed groups (Auc, Eln, Epl, etc), their support networks, informants, as well as to third parties that contributed to the persistence of the conflict”, they argue Parra and Left.
Also ensure that if the conclusion of the board is that between 1994 and 1997, Mancuso belonged to other armed groups, had been able to narrow the period in which the excomandante paramilitary would have had the role of civil funder or sponsor.
“We believe that the Hall of Recognition could not miss the opportunity to promote the elucidation of truth offered by the applicant as a third civil, for shorter than this it may, if this contributes to the purposes of the investigation of the Case 04, for to be more a case already prioritized by the board of Recognition, which deals precisely in the region of Urabá”, they say Parra and Left, and then called the attention of that it’s not just the case of Urabá, but others that will eventually be opened, and that the testimony of Mancuso might be relevant.
Although the judges do not point out, for Peace and Justice it is known that Mancuso had a decisive role in the actions of paramilitary along the Caribbean coast (not just in Urabá), with the North block, as well as in North Santander, with the Catatumbo bloc, these being some of the main, but not the only ones.
As reported at THE TIME, the defense of Mancuso will appeal the decision of the Room on the last commander of the Auc and who remains in the united States, despite having finished paying his sentence there, because of the restrictions of the coronavirus. However, ensure that until now have not been notified of the rescue and clarification of a vote in this decision.
Therefore, it will be the task of the Section of Appeal of the JEP to close this discussion and make a decision that would reaffirm the rejection or, on the contrary, to be aligned with the positions for which the judges Parra and Left did not agree with do not receive to Mancuso.