Colombia’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a lawsuit disputing the constitutionality of the the Anti-discrimination Law under the grounds that indigenous groups were not adequately consulted.
The rejected lawsuit sought to attack the law on the grounds that it failed to consult the indigenous and Afro-Colombian minority groups before its ratification. The court ruled that, in this case, prior consultation with minority communities was not required because the law intended to protect society as a whole. A prior consultation only applies to administrative or legislative measures that directly affect those communities.
Law 1482, better known as the Anti-discrimination Law, classifies crimes of a racist, homophobic, or xenophobic nature, as well as genocide denial. It protects the rights of those who may be subject to discrimination based on racial or ethnic status.
Another lawsuit, still pending the court’s decision, attacks from a different angle. The lawyer Victor Velasquez argues that it is “unconstitutional to incarcerate people for expressing their ideological, religious or moral opinions.”
This motion against the Anti-discrimination Law is supported by one of Colombia’s most politically powerful and controversial individuals, Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez. Ordoñez requested that the court repeal the law because he believes it punishes racial, religious and sexual orientation-related discrimination. He claimed that the law, “violates the rights to free expression and religious freedom.”
- Rechazan demanda contra ley antidiscriminacion (El Tiempo)
- Corte Constitucional dejo en firme ley antidiscriminacion (El Espectador)
- Law 1482