ICC puts pressure on peace

12 June 2006 by Juanita Leon

Interview with Antanas Mockus

Iconoclastic politician Antanas Mockus received only 1.2% of the votes in Columbia's presidential election on May 28, but he is well-known for his intellectual capacities. Former dean of the National University and two-term mayor of Bogota, Mockus has mobilized public opinion against the violent actions of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) guerrilla. One of his campaign themes was that "pardons were not guaranteed," because the International Criminal Court (ICC) could always step in to try these crimes. He discussed the role of the ICC in Colombia with IJT and explained why he supported it the clause for a 7-year delay before the Rome Treaty enters into force.

On several occasions during your term as mayor, you referred to the International Criminal Court. Why?

When the FARC guerrilla threatened to kill over half of the country's mayors if they did not resign their posts, I wore a bullet-proof vest with a hole in the heart for ten months, and I only took it off on the day that the Rome Statute entered into force. At that moment, I explained that I felt both elements - the vest and the International Criminal Court - were protecting my right to life to a certain degree. Like the vest, the Rome Statute also provides signals that protect civil society, as well as a message of commitment for rulers. When a bomb was placed on the Chingaza aqueduct [ed. note: in 2002, the FARC tried to cut off the water supply to the capital] I, on the one hand, reported the bomb to the Prosecutor, but also said that a mayor could well be tried for failing to protect civil society. I thought it was important to convey the message that this system of rules creates obligations for all.

During the presidential campaign, you again mentioned the ICC. What did it represent to you?

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