The Colombian Prosecutor General’s Office announced Tuesday the creation of a national unit to prosecute environmental crimes, reported Radio W Tuesday.
The specialized unit will focus solely on prosecuting crimes that have a negative impact on the environment, and will have the power to seek compensation from guilty parties for social, economic or cultural damage caused by such crimes.
One of the key issues to be investigated by the new unit as a priority will be illegal mining in Colombia.
The unit will be attached to the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, and will benefit from specialized prosecutors and expert researchers, along with 22 prosecutors in the Central Criminal Court, 11 assistant attorneys and 22 criminal investigators.
The national unit has been created in line with recommendations made in the United Nation’s “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,” following the U.N. conference on environment and development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.