Colombia’s Constitutional Court upholds Victims Law

Colombia’s Constitutional Court upheld legislation that states the terms of the Victims and Land Restitution Law, meant to compensate victims of violence and displacement, reported local media Thursday.

According to the court, the law does not violate citizens’ right to equality, as two lawsuits filed against the piece of legislation argued. Opponents challenged the law’s exclusion of victims of common crime, victims that are also illegal armed actors and victims of crimes before 1985 in its jurisdiction.

The Victims and Land Restitution Law, known officially as Law 1448, allows victims of violence committed by left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and state officials after 1985 to claim financial compensation. It also allows for displaced people to reclaim land that was obtained through intimidation and force by illegal armed groups.

The high court ruled that the Victims Law applies to victims of violent events that occurred after January 1985 and that the Restitution of Lands is applicable to registered incidents of displacement after January 1991.

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