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Colombia: Decree Grants Freedom to Guerrillas Who Demobilize and Free Hostages

(Mar. 12, 2009) The Colombian government, on March 3, 2009, issued Decree 614 of February 27, 2009 (DIARIO OFICIAL (Feb. 27, 2009)) which allows the government to seek from the courts the suspension of detention orders for illegal armed groups when the groups demobilize and surrender their hostages. The requirements to qualify for this benefit are the abandonment of guerrilla activities and the actual bringing out and freeing of the hostages.

Once a guerrilla meets these two requirements, he will be granted freedom, without pardon or amnesty and without suspension of the criminal process, but with some monetary compensation. (Expiden decreto para otorgar libertad a guerrilleros que se desmovilicen y liberen secuestrados, EL TIEMPO, Feb. 27, 2009, available at