Colombia’s Congress Tuesday passed a law that seeks compensation for victims of
the conflict in Colombia.
The Victims Law is controversial because it allegedly discriminates between victims of illegal armed groups and victims of state violence.
According to the bill, victims of state violence can only be compensated after proving before a judge that a State official committed a crime acting beyond his authority, while victims of illegal armed groups can apply for compensation via administrative ways.
The opposition say that the bill as approved “distorts the principles of truth, justice and reparation.”
Last week, UN 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 original bill’s proposer Guillermo Rivera,
various NGOs and families of victims asked Congress not to
pass the bill because they claim it fails to recognize the rights of thousands
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.