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  • People participate in an event in memory of the victims of the armed conflict in Bogota, Colombia, Dec. 4, 2019,

    People participate in an event in memory of the victims of the armed conflict in Bogota, Colombia, Dec. 4, 2019, | Photo: EFE

Published 28 January 2020

The president of the Senate will process a proposal to grant political representation to people living in the territories most hit by violence.

Colombia's President of the Senate Lidio García announced that the victims of the armed conflict will have 16 seats in Congress, as had been established after the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian state and former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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On Dec. 12019, Attorney Fernando Carrillo and the "Defend Peace" movement asked Garcia to review the administrative act through which the creation of those 16 seats was prevented.

Regarding the restitution of these seats, the leader of the Choco's victims Yolanda Perea said that the decision will imply an advance in compliance with the Peace Agreement but also warned that political parties should not try to seize those seats.

“While that announcement makes us happy, we have a question: How will the participation of the leaders, who want to access those seats, be guaranteed. Will we have guarantees?” she said.

According to local outlets, to respond to that request, Garcia met with members of the Constitutional Court, the Council of State and the Supreme Court.

They would have informed him that the President of the Senate can revoke the administrative decision that prevented the creation of political representation for the victims.​​​​​​​

"We celebrate the President of the Senate's announcement whereby he expresses his intention to promulgate ​​​​​​​the administrative act that grants 16 seats to the victims. If we want to stop this bleeding, the agreement must be fully implemented." The meme reads, "They would revive the seats for peace in Congress. The constitutional reform project was subject to severe legal controversy a couple of years ago."

Once this consultation is done, Garcia will send the project for the creation of the seats to Colombia's President Ivan Duque who must abide by the proposal.​​​​​​​

The "U Party" Senator Roy Barreras said that the 16-seats proposal does not even need the presidential sanction because the decision will be activated with its publication in the official legislative gazette.

“The peace seats for the victims will be a reality. The struggle of more than two years was worth it. They will be circumscribed to the 16 territories most hit by violence in compliance with the precept of the Comprehensive Territory Reparation Agreement,” he tweeted.

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