German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her administration’s willingness to assist Colombia in the reconciliation process, in a Wednesday meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Berlin.
Merkel emphasized the importance of the victims reparation and land restitution process in Colombia and offered her country’s assistance in developing the Victims Law initiative that is in the process of being approved by the Colombian Senate, according to a press release from the president’s office.
“We want, of course, to contribute to what may become a peaceful overcoming of the past (…) We can include our own experience, with the surmounting that we did of our own history,” said the German head of state.
Merkel added that the actual determination of the judicial and legal basis of the law must remain the responsibility of the Colombian government, stating that “the legal rules are what Colombia will determine.”
President Santos, in response, welcomed the offer of support from his German counterpart, according to a presidential press release.
The president stated that, “There is a particular interest in regards to the reform that has to do with victims reparation and land restitution, where the help and the collaboration of the German government is more than welcome, because there we are going to need a lot of support.”
The Victims Law, if passed as it currently stands, will provide reparations assistance to persons affected by violence in Colombia as far back as 1985, regardless of the perpetrator.