Friday, June 20, 2014

Sexual assault cases to be tried in Colombian civilian courts

Pres. Juan Manuel Santos
Colombia Reports advises that on June 18, Colombia enacted legislation that would transfer responsibility for the prosecution of sexual assaults by members of the military and other armed groups to the civilians courts.
[President Juan Manuel] Santos stated with respect to the law, “it establishes that acts of sexual violence, when they are committed systematically or in general against the civilian population, will be declared by the judicial authorities as crimes against humanity.”
Santos declared that the justice system should, “condemn the victimizers regardless of which armed group they belong to, including functionaries of the state [the military] if they commit a crime.” Santos added that, “even if they [sexual crimes] occurred 10, 20, 30 or 50 years ago, justice may investigate and condemn the authors of these crimes.”
This entails that members of the military currently under investigation for sexual crimes will have their cases transferred from a military tribunal to the civilian justice system, according to national radio Caracol.
The text of Law 1719 of 2014 is available in the online Diario Oficial for June 18, 2014.

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