The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights asked Colombia to compensate all victims of State violence without any requirements or conditions.
The request came before the final debate on the controversial Victims Law bill, which seeks compensation for victims of
conflict in Colombia. As the bill stands, victims of State violence can only seek compensation if it can be proved that a State official who committed
the crime was acting beyond his authority.
High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay sent a letter to Senate president Hernán Andrade requesting that the bill “does not include any discriminatory clauses and that the principle of equality for victims, which is universally accepted, be maintained”.
The bill’s sponsor Guillermo Rivera, various NGOs and the families of victims have asked Congress not to pass the bill because it fails to recognize the the rights of thousands of victims.
The law allows victims to claim compensation during a two year
period, but allows people to claim compensation for a crime committed
anytime during the 44-year old conflict.