Colombia enacted life sentence for rapists and murderers of minors

Colombian President Ivan Duque enacted the constitutional reform that will allow life imprisonment in the country last Wednesday. The rule aims to punish rapists and murderers of children and adolescents up to 17 years old.

Once the congress was approved, the norm would modify article 34 of the constitution, which prohibited the penalties of exile, life imprisonment, and confiscation, it should be noted that the maximum penalty in Colombia was 60 years in prison. Now the government has one year to present the regulations of the new norm.

Duque promised the cause from his electoral campaign, affirmed yesterday from the presidential palace, «Our challenge now is that we can give an accelerated process to the Law that regulates this Legislative Act and that is complemented by other regulatory developments«. In addition, the Colombian president added «Today Colombia says no to those thugs who have tried to usurp the tenderness, innocence, and principles of our children«.

For her part, the Colombian interior minister, Alicia Arango, affirmed “A great step for Colombia is the enactment of the legislative act that established life imprisonment for rapists and murderers of minors. The country owed a debt to our children, they are a priority for this government”.

In Colombia, two minors are murdered a day, and according to forensic authorities, last year more than 22,000 minors were victims of sexual abuse, while 708 died violently. The authorities also assured that between January and May 2020 there are 6,479 cases of sexually assaulted minors.

Meanwhile, opponents of the reform, including opposition parliamentarians, academics, and experts, said a legal sanction is not effective in reducing crime.

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