In order to give the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia better access to the justice system, and to hear more of their testimonies, PAX and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on aspects of transitional justice agreed to in the Colombian peace accord of 2016.
The cooperation will be organized around three fundamental themes:
• Organizing training sessions for victims’ organizations or communities entitled to collective reparation so that they know how to access the JEP;
• The development of a methodology for audio-visual victim testimonies, or other alternatives to written testimonies, to be used in court cases initiated by the JEP;
• Coordination of the powers of the JEP with those of independent courts in self-governing indigenous reserves.
PAX in Colombia
PAX plays an active role in Colombia in preventing armed violence, ensuring the safety of civilians in vulnerable regions and promoting peace with justice. To achieve this, PAX cooperates with citizens in conflict areas, victim organizations, local or national authorities and also with economic actors, such as companies.
PAX helps JEP
JEP Vice President Xiomara Balanta Moreno is pleased with the cooperation agreement with PAX, and sees an opportunity for the JEP to increase its presence in the regions where PAX is active. In particular, Ms. Balanta Moreno hopes the cooperation will help inform local residents in these areas about peace justice.
Joris van de Sandt, the leader for PAX´s Latin America programme, says, “The signing of this partnership enables the JEP to use PAX’s experience in guiding vulnerable populations in different regions of the country. Through this alliance, PAX wants to contribute to the success of the newly established system of Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in the interest of resolving the conflict among the Colombian people.”