Continuar hasta el final en La Haya

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- Después de ocuparlo durante ocho años, Carla del Ponte está a punto de abandonar su cargo de fiscal jefe del Tribunal Penal Internacional para la antigua Yugoslavia (TPIY) de La Haya. Es urgente que las NN.UU., que lo crearon para procesar a miembros de todos los bandos de las guerras balcánicas –servios, musulmanes bosnios, croatas y, más adelante, albanokosovares– que cometieron atrocidades, nombren a un nuevo fiscal dispuesto a continuar la labor de Del Ponte.

El TPIY fue el primer tribunal internacional creado después de los de Nuremberg y Tokio al final de la segunda guerra mundial. Pese a la lentitud con la que arrancó, ha acumulado una ejecutoria admirable con la presentación ante la justicia y la celebración de juicios fundamentalmente imparciales de unos 80 acusados, incluidos generales, jefes de Estado y brutales comandantes de campos de prisioneros. El TPIY, buque insignia para posteriores tribunales sobre crímenes de guerra de Rwanda, Sierra Leona, Timor Oriental y Camboya y del Tribunal Penal Internacional permanente, se encuentra ahora en su fase final, pues debe cerrar sus puertas en 2010.

Estos años finales serán decisivos, no sólo para la reputación y el legado del TPIY, sino también para el derecho humanitario internacional (las llamadas "leyes de guerra"). El TPIY ha supervisado el desarrollo de un extraordinario corpus de jurisprudencia que da vida a los preceptos abstractos del derecho internacional. Ha aclarado el significado y las prescripciones de los Convenios de Ginebra y La Haya sobre el trato de prisioneros y civiles en territorios ocupados. Así, pues, no se debe desaprovechar dicha ejecutoria.

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