Colombia’s Constitutional Court voted 6 to 2 against holding a referendum on changing the law to impose life imprisonment on those who kill or rape children, LaFM reported Wednesday.
The court explained that the referendum did not receive the proper certification prior to passing through Colombian Congress, and that its text was changed while it was in the Senate, another violation of the protocol needed to legally hold a referendum on changing the law.
Speaking after the vote by the Constitutional Court, one of the referendum’s main backers, Senator Gilma Jimenez, explained her dismay at the referendum’s defeat, “I do not understand the Court’s decision because we did fully comply with the requirements stipulated by law for a referendum.”
For Jimenez, however, the referendum “has not completely failed,” but simply “lost a battle,” adding that on July 20, they will try again to pass the referendum through the court.
The court also explained that while the referendum was deemed illegal this time around, the issue remains open because it was deemed illegal due to procedural failures and not due to its content.