Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos asked Congress Tuesday to vote in favor of a reform to a legal framework for peace, saying that a controversial clause will be removed.
In response to the ongoing debate regarding to the reform, Santos told Congress that the necessary changes would be made to a clause that allows demobilized paramilitaries and guerrillas to run for election or hold public office.
In September, Senator Roy Barreras, with the support of President Santos, proposed the modification of the Colombian constitution that defends the rights of those who demobilized through a government peace process.
Barreras wanted article 122 of the political constitution to be overturned. Article 122 states that anyone convicted of belonging to, promoting or financing illegal armed groups or of crimes against humanity or drug trafficking cannot stand for public office.
Barreras and Santos had hoped that the changes would result in mass demobilizations and, according to Barreras, “bring a new dawn of peace.”
However, the reform had been widely criticized, including by former President Alvaro Uribe who said via Twitter, “there is no reason to turn murderers and kidnappers into election candidates.”