Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Colombian Congress approved the Victims Act after 50 years of conflict

Bogotá. Colombia .- The Congress today gave the green light for Victims Act, after nearly 50 years of armed conflict, which will benefit over four million people affected by violence and will not grant belligerent status to illegal armed groups. The new legislation, passed by 62 votes in favor and 3 against in the Senate and by 93 compared to three in the House of Representatives recognizes the existence of an armed conflict in Colombia after nearly a decade in which the previous Government under President Alvaro Uribe, deny that fact.

"I congratulate and thank the Congress for the passage of the Victim Act. It is a historic event for Colombia," said the president, Juan Manuel Santos, in a message on your twitter profile. Now the law will pass control of the Constitutional Court after the endorsement by Santos himself, who waits to do so during the next visit to the country of the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, between 10 and 12 June.

The law went through numerous discussions before seeing the green light, where he received harsh criticism, as Uribe, reluctant to recognize the internal conflict. The legislation passed admits this fact, but does not recognize the belligerent status to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), or any other illegal armed group.

The speaker coordinator, Juan Fernando Cristo, told reporters that "this is the most important law that has passed the Congress for many decades." And the UN representative in Colombia, Bruno Moro, adding that this first of June "will be remembered as a historic day", while recognizing that it is "a perfect law." This law shall recognize and repair to four million Colombians who have been victims of violent groups in the past 25 years, why the Senate President Armando Benedetti, also called historical fact to qualify today delivered to the country "tool box" to find peace.

The Minister of Interior and Justice, Germain Vargas Lleras, a strong advocate of this law, recognized that it has taken ten years but "it is a reality." Only senators spoke against the leftist Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA) Jorge Enrique Robledo, Alexander Lopez and Gloria Inés Ramírez, although his party colleagues Mauricio Ospina, Jorge Guevara and Luis Carlos Avellaneda voted in favor.

Santos said on assuming office on August 7, 2010, that his Government hoped to plant the foundations for "a genuine reconciliation among Colombians and 27 September of that year he introduced the Act, an initiative of the Liberal Party in Congress. Among the key areas of blanket rule developments occurring after January 1, 1985, while the land restitution cases clothe after January 1, 1991.

Victims of acts committed prior to 1985 will access to symbolic reparation and guarantees of non repetition. They also set special measures in health care, education and access to a subsidy to cover funeral expenses resulting from the conflict. And finally, provides for the delivery of humanitarian aid for victims to cope with the basic and immediate needs that arise after an act of violence.

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