Colombia’s Victims Law was passed Wednesday by a plenary session of Congress, meaning that final presidential approval is the only step left in finalizing the “historic” piece of legislation.
“The victims’ moment has arrived,” said the government, in regards to the passage of the bill. Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras added that now the process of providing reparations to victims and returning land to the conflict’s forcibly displaced can begin.
The full text of the law, which has seen numerous heated debates since its re-introduction by President Juan Manuel Santos in fall 2010, was prepared and signed by a commission on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s vote, after being approved by a plenary session of the Senate last week.
The law now awaits final approval by President Santos, which must happen in front of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The Victims Law aims to provide recognition and reparation to the many victims of violence during Colombia’s longstanding internal armed conflict, covering incidents occurring since 1985.