Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will personally speak before his country’s Congress to defend a law that seeks compensation for victims of the country’s violent conflict.
Santos’ appearance before Congress is unique, as it is custom that ministers attend a session in Congress to defend or explain a government proposal.
According to W Radio, Santos chose to personally attend the Congress session to show the government’s commitment to the millions of victims and ask representatives to earmark more than $22 billion in the next ten years for the expected financial compensation.
Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras told the radio station that the law, which is intended to compensate victims of guerrilla, paramilitary, and state violence “is the most ambitious human rights project in Colombia and an example to the world.”
When appearing before Congress, Santos will be accompanied by victims of the conflict.
The original Victims Law, which included victims of state violence, was originally proposed by the Liberal Party but was not ratified by Congress. An adaptation of the law, excluding victims of state agents, was approved in 2009.