Colombia’s Constitutional Court has broadened the definition of a victim under the 2011 Victims Law, reported local media.
The Victims and Land Restitution Law, officially know 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 stolen or obtained through intimidation and force by illegal armed groups.
The Colombian Constitutional Court extended the definition of victims covered by this law Tuesday to include victims’ relatives of the third degree of kinship — relations such as nieces and nephews, grandparents and grandchildren, cousins and in some cases even friends.
Originally only relatives of the first degree, such as parents, children, siblings, and spouses were included. After reviewing this, the high court noted that family members beyond the first degree of kinship had also suffered damages due to deaths or disappearances.
“Other people may apply as victims but they will have to test and demonstrate that status,” said the president of the high court, Juan Carlos Henao.