Twenty-three coalition lawmakers block a vote on a law intended to regulate compensation for victims of Colombia’s conflict.
Many of the House representatives declared that they unable to vote due to a conflict of interest.
One of the representatives blocking the vote, Elias Raad of President Juan Manuel Santos‘ Partido de la U, said he couldn’t vote because the husband of a fourth cousin would benefit from the law.
The majority of congressmen blocking the vote are supporters of former President Alvaro Uribe who on several occasions opposed the law, because it includes compensation for victims of state violence. According to Uribe, paying reparation to these people is too expensive.
Both Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras and Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo expressed their anger about the congressmen’s blocking of the vote.
Restrepo said the action of the coalition representatives’ “filibuster politics” aimed to obstruct the approval of the law by delaying the necessary voting rounds.
Vargas Lleras warned that he would call extraordinary sessions if the House wasn’t able to vote on the bill within its legal timelimit.
The Victims Law aims to provide reparation and the restitution of lands to victims of guerrilla groups, paramilitaries and state forces.