Colombian soldiers and marines have won a court ruling Tuesday against the government for a sum of over $19 million.
Court administrations in the country’s capital Bogota ordered the national government to pay nearly two thousand professional soldiers a sum which divided equally would come to approximately $10,000 per soldier.
Legal actions were taken against the government because the military members had entered their respective armies before 2001, and in 2003 their salaries were reduced by 20%, said newspaper El Tiempo.
“They are professional soldiers and professional marines that entered before the year 2001 as voluntary soldiers and in the year 2003, the national government, then led by Alvaro Uribe Velez, along with Minister of Defense, Martha Lucia Ramirez, decreased their normal salary by 20 percent,” said Mauricio Beltran, director of the Patriotic Sentiment Foundation (Sedesol), an organization that seeks to protect the professional soldiers of the country.
Beltran said that the soldiers justly won because of the unfair percentage decrease in their earlier payments. Allegedly, the ruling will also benefit nearly 44,000 military members in the future as a result of the process.