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Colombia: a minister proposes to decriminalize incest between adults


The Colombian Minister of Justice has presented a bill containing a controversial proposal: to decriminalize incest between relatives on the first...

The Colombian Minister of Justice has presented a bill containing a controversial proposal: to decriminalize incest between first-degree relatives, in particular to unclog prisons.

What we are proposing to remove is that two people, both adults, who freely consent to have sex, be sent to prison

,” Nestor Osuna said on Tuesday February 7 on local radio.

Colombian law punishes with a sentence of up to six years in prison first-degree relatives who have sexual relations, either between brothers and sisters, or between parents and their descendants or ancestors.

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The minister presented Monday to Congress a bill aimed at improving detention conditions and decriminalizing certain practices, in order to relieve congestion in prisons where overcrowding has reached a critical peak.


It is necessary to establish, in a criminal law specific to a liberal society, certain limits to the persecution by the State of behavior which does not really harm society

", he considered on this occasion.

Nestor Osuna explained the differences, according to him, between incest and other sexual crimes.

It is neither rape, nor an abusive sexual act, nor a sexual act with minors.

These crimes will continue to be punished with the high penalties they deserve


Incest “

with a child is rape

,” he also stressed.

Age of consent set at 14

In Colombia, the age of sexual consent is 14 years old.

The Minister did not specify what would happen in the case of an incestuous relationship between a young person aged 14 to 18 and an adult.

In support of his remarks, the Minister, a lawyer by profession, quoted the masterpiece of the Nobel Prize for Literature Gabriel García Márquez, "

One Hundred Years of Solitude

", in which sexual relations between family members Buendia are common practice.

In "

One Hundred Years of Solitude, there are several generations where there is incest

", he recalled.

Prisoners sentenced for incestuous acts represent a “

minimum number

”, however specified the minister.

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This proposal has drawn criticism.

It is "

a harmful message for families and a macabre incitement for rapists

", reacted on Twitter Ernesto Macias, former president of the Senate and member of the Democratic Center party (right).

The new Prisons Bill also provides for the granting of work permits to prisoners who have served more than half their sentence for minor offences.

With this permit, prisoners will be allowed to go out during the day to work before returning to their cells at night.

Elected in the summer of 2022, President Gustavo Petro, the first left-wing president in the country's history, plans to implement an ambitious set of reforms.

Several of these reforms, on the energy transition and on the health system, however, have raised tensions in recent weeks within the majority coalition, which includes centrists and liberals.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-07

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