Victims of rape perpetrated by paramilitaries demobilized in Colombia’s Justice and Peace process will be first to receive reparations (COP15 million each).
The first ten people to receive these reparations will be victims of sexual violence committed by paramilitaries who have demobilized and confessed their crimes through the Justice and Peace process, which is why these victims’ cases have been given priority by the state.
This initiative is taking place at a time when the issue of reparation for victims of Colombia’s armed conflict is still considered taboo by many sections of society.
According to spokesmen from Social Action, authorities have settled 1,534 reparation requests for rape – 518 of which have been made by men, reported newspaper El Tiempo Monday.
Regarding other crimes, Colombian authorities have to date settled the cases of 1,680 victims with payments totalling around COP30 billion. This figure represents only 1.7% of a bill of COP5 billion for more than 258,000 victims of Colombia’s armed conflict.
Marlene Mesa, deputy director of Care for Victims of Violence for Social Action explained that as of December 14 “priority will be give to victims of land mines and forced recruitment.”
A government report revealed that 303 minors who were forced to fight for illegal armed groups, and are currently in the care of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, received this year almost COP15 million each in compensation.
1,000 victims of homicide were also among the first to be compensated, though the total reparation requests for homicides totals 177,946 – each of whom are entitled to receive some COP20 million.
Reports indicate that so far 196 families of disappeared persons have been compensated, while 128 victims of physical and psychological injuries as well as 77 kidnap victims have also received reparation money.
The departments of Antioquia, Cauca and Magdalena have presented the most reparation cases, with Antioquia far exceeding the others with some 75,000 cases. Request applications will be received until April 2010.
The government report currently excludes reparation requests for crimes of forced displacement which involves an estimated 720,000 families.