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Colombia president blames printer for bill ‘alteration’

February 11, 2019

Duque (L) and Macias (Credit: President’s Office)

Far-right senate President, Ernesto Macias, has blamed the printing process for removing part of a war crimes bill pertaining to victims’ rights.

As Colombia Reports reveals, Macias has attributed the “removal of key parts” of the bill which aim to “regulate the competences of the country’s war crimes tribunal” to his printer. He made this declaration following the return of the bill by House President Alejandro Carlos Chacon, who claimed it had “been altered.”

As a result, the bill has been unable to pass through Congress.

The parts of the bill which failed to be included were meant to “guarantee victims’ rights” and “contribute to a lasting peace”.

Macias gave his version of events: “When [bills] are to be sent to the Presidency for sanction, the format is changed on paper. It is a special paper that is predetermined for the bills that are sent to the Presidency of the Republic. When printing, because of the configuration of the printers, it happens frequently that there are double spaces, that the configuration changes and this happened.”

He added, “I assume responsibility for what happened to the printer. It happened.”

Former Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera of the Liberal Party said that“it is evident” Macias was attempting to “delay the ratification of the bill” and expressed the worry that President Ivan Duque “could refuse to ratify the bill, effectively leaving the war crimes tribune in a legal limbo.”

The war crimes bill is described as “highly inconvenient” for the president, as a number of his closest allies “have been tied to war crimes that were committed during the country’s 55 years of armed conflict.”

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