Colombia’s senate president has revived the possibility of chemical castration for convicted rapists, local media reported Thursday.
Senate President Roy Barreras filed the bill Thursday, sending a strong warning to potential male sex offenders.
According to Barreras, who has previously served as a physician and professor in medical anthropology, the bill is aimed at those who would abuse women. “We will pursue and punish them with the force of these laws,” he said.
Barreras allegedly said the treatment may apply to convicted rapists who seek a reduced sentence and as a mandatory sentence for repeat offenders.
Should the bill gain the necessary votes in the legislature, the treatment will be implemented in specialized clinics and centers, and would be managed and directed by the Health Ministry.
A similar bill was proposed to congress in 2007 yet was never passed into law.
Chemical castration is the administration of hormones that severely inhibit sexual activity and libido. The process differs from surgical castration, whereby the testes are removed through an incision in the scrotum.
The controversial practice is currently available in countries like the UK, Russia, Estonia, Moldova, Poland, France and South Korea.
The announcement comes amid the formal visit of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. Women’s rights advocacy has been a particular focus of Bachelet’s post-presidential career and on September 14, 2010, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed her as head of the newly created body UN Women.