Colombia passes controversial military justice reform bill http://colombiareports.com/colombia-passes-military-justice-reform-bill/
FACT SHEET: False positives
Nevertheless, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon supported his colleague’s affirmation that the only thing the government sought was “offer judicial security” to soldiers suspected of crimes.
“The security forces will have a framework for their prosecution that abides the constitution and international humanitarian law,” said Pinzon.The opposition, which voted against the bill, disagrees: “The bill includes a number of [types of] deaths that go against humanitarian … law. To move the jurisdiction of these human rights so they can be judged by the military … is very grave,” opposition Representative Ivan Cepeda told RCN Radio.Cepeda expressed concern about part of the bill that allows members of the military to kill civilians on the suspicion of being a member of an illegal armed group without interference of judicial authorities and outside of combat situations. According to the socialist senator and chairman of an NGO representing victim of state violence, the reform ” leaves the door to impunity open because civilians can be converted to legitimate targets.”Senator Juan Manuel Galan, one of the proponents of the reform, said that the army could only kill ” legitimate targets” which he defined as a ” person who causes serious damage to the security forces.”As the House of Representatives made last-minute changes to the reform, a commission consisting of members of both the House and the Senate will have to approve the bill in a so-called conciliation session. This commission is allowed to make changes to the bill.Once both the Senate and House are in agreement of the reform, the bill will be sent to President Santos for final approval after which the Constitutional Court tests whether the legislation is constitutional.
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