In the framework of the discussion on the reform of article 34 of the National Constitution by means of which life imprisonment for murderers and rapists of children and adolescents would be approved, Attorney Margarita Cabello, informed the Constitutional Court that she is prevented from participating in the issue.
According to Cabello, when she was Minister of Justice during the 2019-2020 period, she participated in the elaboration of the constitutional reform and has learned about the pros and cons of the initiative, therefore she believes that her position and knowledge, It would play against the discussion that will take place and does not want to interfere in the decision made by the Constitutional Court.
“Indeed, as Minister of Justice and Law, I participated in the deliberations before the chambers that gave rise to Legislative Act 01 of 2020, as stated in the Gazettes of Congress 260 and 635 of 2020. Therefore, I request you to the Constitutional Court that declares the present impediment founded and, consequently, proceeds to transfer the request of the reference to the Deputy Attorney General of the Nation ”, Margarita Cabello explained in a document known to El Espectador.
According to Cabello, the pronouncement by the Attorney General’s Office will remain in the hands of the Vice Attorney, Antonio Emiro Thomas. However, the prosecutor let it be known that she agrees with life imprisonment and that here the rights of minors would also be protected since rape is an extremely serious crime, as stated in an interview with El Espectador:
“The best interests of the minor and the protection of their personal integrity are a supreme value of the Constitution and international human rights treaties. So is justice, which is not only a supreme value, but also a principle and a constitutional right of victims to suffer when a child is sexually abused. Sexual abuse of children is an extremely serious crime. No article of the Constitution establishes the prohibition of a life sentence for child predators, so there has always been the possibility of imposing penalties proportional to the seriousness of this crime ”, confirmed to the media.
It should be clarified that the reform had to pass to this instance since several demands were presented from different institutions in which it was argued that life imprisonment would violate the principles of human rights. Reason why the high court will decide whether to approve or take other measures.
Those who demanded the rule believe that the change in article 34 of the Constitution would violate the right to resocialization of those who are deprived of liberty and who committed this crime, in addition, it would cease to recognize human dignity, since a life sentence it would prevent the inmate from returning to the streets or being part of a new community; Along with this, the plaintiffs asked the Constitutional Court to overturn the new rule as it could cause serious mental and emotional damage to the person in jail.
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