Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday approved “in record time” a bill that seeks to end the judicial limbo of thousands of demobilized paramilitary fighters.
The government, confronted with the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the executive branch is not allowed to offer immunity from prosecution to 17,000 fighters who demobilized with paramilitary organization AUC and 13,000 who demobilized on other occasions, proposed the creation of an independent Truth Commission to investigate the individual cases of demobilized fighters and advise the Prosecutor General’s Office on whether to prosecute.
“This bill … was debated and approved in record time. It incorporates the Constitutional Court’s outlines and allows more than 30,000 people who were rehabilitated to continue enjoying freedom and the program they take part in,” Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras was quoted as saying by W Radio.
Following the court ruling, the government expressed concern that thousands of former paramilitaries could rearm now that the conditions of their demobilization had changed and they could face being charged for being a member of a terrorist organization.
The paramilitaries involved are not suspects in crimes against humanity or other serious offenses.
If the adaptation of the peace agreement is approved by the court, the government can install the Truth Commission.