Amnesty Law passed in Colombian Congress

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The first of several peace laws which form part of the peace agreement and will move through Congress via a fast-track mechanism was approved by both houses on 28th December. The Amnesty Law will allow for FARC members who are not accused of War Crimes or Crimes against Humanity to have all of their charges or potential charges removed. The Amnesty Law can also apply to those currently in jail and will lead to the immediate and definitive release of prisoners accused of crimes such as rebellion or financing terrorism – a common charge used to imprison political activists. The President’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, a section of the judiciary and the still to be created Special Peace Court will all have the jurisdiction to decide who will be included in the Amnesty Law.

The Amnesty Law will also apply to members of the Colombian Army and those outside of armed groups who have been involved in the conflict. It is estimated that the law will benefit close to 6,000 members of the FARC, 4,000 of those prisoners, 1,200 imprisoned soldiers and police officers, and hundreds of political activists and community leaders.

The passing of the Law is another important step in the peace process and the implementation of the agreement.

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