Iván Duque defends the application of the Civil Security Act to criminal recidivism in Colombia

Colombian President Iván Duque this Thursday promulgated the recently passed Citizen Security Act, ratified this week by the Senate, defending his motion for criminal recidivism, vandalism and gun ownership in the country.

“I think Colombians are fed up with criminal relapses. Criminals are captured, thousands of criminals “No, sir. We impose exemplary sanctions in the event of relapse,” Duque defended in a press conference after his visit to Tolemaida Air Base in the center of the country.

He also referred to the legal prohibition on carrying weapons: “We limit weapons as much as possible and defend the principle of the gun monopoly at the head of the public armed forces,” he said.

Iván Duque defends the application of the Civil Security Act to criminal recidivism in Colombia
Iván Duque defends the application of the Civil Security Act to criminal recidivism in Colombia

The Colombian President responded to the opposition’s criticism with one sentence: “You like to treat criminals thoughtfully and generously” and recalled that the measure was approved “by an overwhelming majority” in Congress.

“We are tough in the face of vandalism and the destruction of public infrastructure. How can the burning of a bus not be criminal?”, Duque has alleged. It also says: “Anyone who attacks the life, honor, property and rights of Colombians is entitled to an exemplary sanction.”

He also announced that this law will be strengthened by “a new disciplinary statute for the National Police”, a reform that will give the public “all legal tools to use violence to counter organized crime in our country”.

The Colombian Senate this week gave the green light to the bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives with widespread opposition. Several members rejected the project because it found inconsistencies, asserting that, according to local media, it was “criminal populism” and even “authoritarianism” against those who choose to take to the streets.

“This initiative was hastily adopted. It contains several provisions relating to the right of assembly and association (…). The articles seem to find the source of insecurity in social protest. It focuses on increasing penalties for activities in the In connection with the protest and increased self-defense actions, under the concept of ‘privileged legitimate defense’, reminiscent of the strategies of the ‘Convivir’ (surveillance cooperatives), the legal prelude to paramilitarism, criticized Senator Iván Cepeda of the left-wing Polo Party Alternative Democrats ( PDA).

The law specifically provides for the legitimate defense of private property, although commercial establishments are excluded. In addition, violence could be used if a person forcibly entered a home.

They also increase penalties for attacks on infrastructures that ensure the safety of citizens, such as administrations connected to the judiciary, the transport system, military facilities or those of the police. There will also be an increase in penalties for citizens who hide their faces or make visual recognition difficult, according to Caracol Radio.

“Do you know what the government’s security project shows? That they have always believed in paramilitarism,” said Gustavo Petro, the presidential candidate of the Progressive Historic Pact, on social media, to which Interior Minister Daniel Palacios replied: “Security is synonymous with paramilitarianism. ” He also called him “irresponsible”.

Palacios defended the measure, assuring that “it will avoid impunity and punish the criminal”: “It will give our prosecutors and national police greater capacity to act in certain scenarios,” he told Blu Radio.

During protests against the country’s president, Iván Duque, in April, in which sections of civil society, trade unions, students and the political opposition took part, the role of the security forces both inside and outside Colombia was caused by excessive violence against the demonstrators even led to a visit by a delegation from the IAHR.

In the same month, a UN report in which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights includes measures to prevent police violence found that the Colombian police were responsible for the deaths of 28 people in the protests to national strike.

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