Colombia’s House of Representatives passed a law allowing victims of
violence, committed by either illegal armed groups or the army, to
claim reparation. Victims of crimes committed by the State say the law
protects the Government and prevents millions of victims to receive their rightful
The law allows victims to claim compensation during a two year period, but allows people to claim compensation for a crime committed anytime during the 44-year old conflict.
According to Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio, “there is a very high percentage of people who want to exploit and abuse the law and fraudulently present themselves as victim of the war in Colombia.” That’s why the government “must ask some minimum requirements to establish some conditions and that way compensate the victims.”
The conditions only count for those who want to claim reparation because of violence committed by the State. Victims of State crime will have to go through a legal procedure, proving the State official(s) that committed the crime was acting beyond his authority.
Victims of state crimes say the government is trying to prevent real justice and reparation. “What they are doing is proposing a temporary register to prevent that millions of people have access to that right to justice and reparation,” Ivan Cepeda of the Movement of State Crime Victims told newspaper El Espectador.
Cepada said the law was inconstitutional and called on the Constitutional Court to revise it.