Colombia's Quest for Peace and Justice: An explorative study into the link between Transitional Justice and Corporate Accountability, analyzed within the context of Colombian Transitional Justice

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This explorative study aims to develop new theoretical insights by bringing together the issue of corporate accountability for human rights violations and settings of transitional justice. It does so by conducting a comparative case study analysis of previous transitional justice experiences in which corporations have been involved. As can be concluded from the explored cases in this research, the previous experiences of corporate accountability in transitional justice processes serve more as cautionary tales than genuine inspirations. By adapting these new theoretical insights to the Colombian case, a possible framework for the role and responsibilities of corporations in the transitional justice process of Colombia is developed. Firstly, within the theoretical framework, current theories that underlie the concepts of transitional justice and corporate accountability will be explicated. Secondly, the practical experiences with the role of corporations in previous transitional justice settings is set out by analyzing the cases of the Nuremberg Trials, the truth commissions of Liberia, South Africa and Timor-Leste, and legal proceedings in Argentina. Lastly, the Colombian case has been analyzed and recommendations are given regarding the role of corporations in the compelling context of the Colombian transitional justice setting. As a conclusion, it is stated that corporate accountability in transitional justice contexts cannot remain the elephant in the room. If durable peace and security in Colombia is to be finally achieved, its transitional justice process should include the role and responsibilities of corporations. Acknowledgement of the wrongdoings, a formal apology and a jointly funded reparation program are recommended responsibilities for corporations to contribute to the establishment of ‘the new Colombia’.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen