Colombian Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras has opened the discussion over penalties for criminal minors, stating the government’s intention to implement harsher punishments, El Espectador reported Thursday.
“In Colombia we cannot continue having 16 or 17-year-old hired assassins without paying penalties,” he said.
Vargas Lleras argued that the country cannot continue to put up with the many youths who commit crimes without repercussions. The current system of criminal liability for minors, originally intended to protect children, has been manipulated to place them in danger, the minister continued.
“Instead of protecting them, it has converted them into the cannon fodder of criminal organizations,” who hire them for a variety of crimes, Vargas Lleras stated.
The penalties of four crimes are intended to increased under the Citizen Security Law, namely kidnapping, homicide, extortion and sex crimes.