The Colombian Catholic Church called on congress to commit to a project aimed at reducing the prison sentences of the 100,000 inmates in Colombian jails to mark the bicentennial of independence, reports Terra.
The proposal was presented by the Prison Pastoral Care Directorate Tuesday, and the organization pointed out that one hundred years ago a similar law was passed by the legislature.
Director of Prison Pastoral Care, Andres Fernandez, said that 100,000 families around Colombia were still waiting for an amnesty that was suggested by the late Pope John Paul II at the turn of the millenium.
“We think that for this jubilee, the country needs to reconnect and overcome hatred,” Fernandez said.
The priest said that it was now up to the Colombian congress to decide whether to proceed, but also noted that it was important for the prisoners to make a solid committment to society and refrain from reoffending.
One hundred years ago, the Colombian National Assembly passed a law which shortened the final third of a prisoner’s sentence.
“To mark the centenary of Independence, the [Colombian] state granted a reduction of sentences, which did not benefit those who collaborated with the separation of Panama,” said Fernandez.