Colombia’s proposed Victims Law, which sets out compensation for victims of the country’s armed conflict, remains to be passed after debate in the Senate over the period it should cover, newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
The draft prepared by the parties said that victims of violence perpetrated by guerrillas, paramilitaries or the state could dating from 1986 could receive reparations.
However, Roy Barreras, a senator from the president’s Partido de la U, argued that compensation should begin from 1984. He explained that this would allow for reparations for such important victims as those of the Palace of Justice Siege, which took place in 1985, and for the family of the former Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, who was murdered by Pablo Escobar’s men in 1984.
Barreras said is necessary to include these “painful and symbolic landmarks” in the Victims Law so that Colombians do not forget the damage caused by these two violent events.
“These crimes have seriously affected Colombian state institutions. Additionally, multiple violent actors arranged and united to produce thousands of victims,” said Barreras.
Liberal Senator Juan Fernando Cristo said that it would be necessary to consider reparation from 1980 to allow more victims to receive compensation under the new law.
The debate will continue within the Senate.
The original Victims Law was proposed by the Liberal Party but was not ratified by Congress.