Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Colombia considers reparations bill

Colombia’s FARC rebels named its new military chief days after alias Mono Jojoy was killed in a military bombing. The Attorney General disqualified Piedad Cordoba from Congress over allegedly “promoting and collaborating” with the FARC. Those recent stories are important perhaps the most vital involves aiding the victims of the armed conflict.

On Monday the government presented a Victims Law designed to provide assistance to millions of people adversely affected by the violence from guerillas, paramilitaries, and other criminal groups. "The fundamental purpose is for victims to be able to reconstruct their lives," said President Juan Manuel Santos in a speech to Congress yesterday.

The bill focuses on four main points including giving reparations, educational aid, and returning land to victims. Furthermore, the proposal makes sure to recognize victims regardless of gender, race, or religion and permits those eligible for the program to apply directly for aid rather than wait for court approval.

A previous plan for victims was proposed last year but it was defeated in Congress partly due to objections over funding by the government of Alvaro Uribe. According to semana.com, the current proposal may have a better chance of being passed since the government sought to build legislative support for the bill before it was unveiled.

Image- Terra Colombia
Online Sources- semana.com, RTT, CNN, LAHT, Colombia Reports

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