The Colombian government says relatives of guerrillas will not be eligible for compensation under the Victims Law, which sets out reparations for those who have suffered in the armed conflict, El Espectador reported Thursday.
Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said that the relatives of guerrilla fighters fallen in combat will not be covered by the Victims Law, which is currently going through Congress. The minister said “members of illegal groups are not going to be victims, nor will they be helped by the reparation initiative.”
He went on to say that those who will receive assistance are those victimized by criminal organizations, namely drug trafficking organizations and paramilitary groups. He explained that the law establishes the concept of a victim, regardless of who the killer may have been.
The Victims Law sets out compensation for victims of violence carried out by paramilitaries, guerrillas or the state.
Vargas Lleras added that he was surprised that Senator Roy Barreras sought to increase the time frame covered by the Victims Law so that victims of violence committed since 1984 receive assistance.
According to the interior and justice minister there was an agreement that it start from 1986. Initially 1991 was proposed as the year from which the Victims Law would take effect.
Senator Juan Fernando Cristo said in February that Colombians who have suffered in the conflict should be entitled to state compensation even if they have relatives who are guerrillas.