Santos revealed the government’s goal to pay damages this year to more than 115,000 Colombians affected by violence.
The president announced on Urna de Cristal, a television program promoting transparancy and civilian interaction with the government, that a register of victims had been started along with a center for vicitims in Colombia’s capital Bogota, 63 service centers countrywide and a call center with a national helpline.
Santos also reported more than 18,500 applications to the register by farmers who have been disposessed of their lands and forced to abandon over three and a half million acres because of violence and intimidation.
The Colombian president said the redress process was essential to ensure a future of progress, peace and equality in the country but it could not be rushed and the government had set a goal of 10 years for the process to be completed.
“In a wounded country like ours which for so many years has suffered sensless violence between brothers, the path to reconcilliation requires us to recognize and repair the victims in order to proceed. It is a moral obligation our government has understood the need for and promised to meet,” claimed the president.
Santos concluded the announcement by saying priority has been given to those victims who have been waiting for redress for many years and to those who are most vulnerable, like single mothers, those with disabilities and the elderly.