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The scenario after the approval of life imprisonment in Colombia

The reform to introduce life imprisonment was approved by the National Congress and is only applicable to rapists and murderers of children and adolescents.

Life imprisonment to be used exceptionally in Colombiasince last June 18, 2020, when the Congress of that country approved its inclusion in the case of sexual violations and homicides of children and adolescents. The proposal was approved with 77 votes in favor, in absolute unanimity. 

What is the scope of life imprisonment in Colombia?

The measure implies the modification of article 34 of the Political Constitution of Colombia.which prohibits the penalties of banishment, life imprisonment and confiscation. It should be noted that the application of this penalty is only possible in the crimes of rape and murder in intentional modality, carnal access involving violence or inability to resist by minors up to 14 years of age. Before this legal remedy, the highest punishment imposed by Colombian law was imprisonment for 60 years. 

This decision was supported by President Iván Duque.after a 13-year-old girl was recently the victim of a gang rape by Colombian Army officers. The event occurred in an indigenous community in the rural population of the department of Risaralda and caused commotion throughout the country, since it is not the first time that events of this nature have occurred, especially in these sectors where indigenous groups live. 

The increase in these cases has been a worrying situation for the country. The country's forensic authority reported more than 22,000 cases of sexual crimes against children under the age of 18, while 708 homicides were recorded in this age group, as highlighted in an article published by El Nacional.

Upon enactment of the reform by the Executive, the law will enter into force in Colombian territory.. From that moment on, the government will have one year to submit the draft regulation of life imprisonment.

In Aldana Aldana & Abogados, we must remember the principle of progressivity of Human RightsThe law is not observed by legislators when they act reactively in very serious and regrettable cases that cause public commotion, such as the one described in this article in Colombia.