A curfew for Colombian teenagers, currently pending in Congress, would
make it impossible for minors to go to the cinema or to birthday
parties, newspaper El Espectador reported Friday.
The decree, proposed by the Ministry of Defense and that of Interior and Justice, is meant to keep minors away from areas where adults go out and consume alcohol, but the decree would also make it impossible for teenagers to visit a cinema in the evening and to celebrate birthday parties or the first communion which normally take place in the city halls, critics say.
fail to watch their children would have to pay a fine of up to 10
million pesos, around US$5,000.
Representative Roy Barreras, in theory a supporter of the curfew, believes that the intentions of the measure are good but some points are “too restrictive. Colombia is a liberal democracy and we cannot create a police state”, he told the newspaper.
Another controversial point is the “transitory detention” which allows the police to detain a person for up to 12 hours. The measure would apply for teenagers who fight, are drunk or high in public or private places.
The Constitutional Court welcomed the “transitory detention”, Representative David Luna, promotor of the project, said, while lawyer Fernando Fuentes believes that this “denies many civil liberties granted by the Constitution”.
Francisco Henao, judge of the police in Antioquia, suggests to “let local councils regulate their own decree since every region has its own culture”.