Daniel Rendon, alias 'El Aleman,' former leader of the 'Elmer Cardenas' Bloc of the AUC

A Colombian high court has ruled that ex-paramilitary fighters need to help support the victims of paramilitary atrocities and hand over property acquired via paramilitary organizations as part of the demobilization treaty.

Colombia’s Justice and Peace Law was enacted in 2005 to legally sustain a demobilization treaty between right-wing paramilitary group AUC and the government of former President Alvaro Uribe. In exchange for cooperating with the authorities and demobilizing, the AUC received a pledge that no-one who came in as a result of the law would receive more than eight years in prison.

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In a decision on Wednesday, the court ruled that if paramilitaries still wanted to be dealt with under the law, they would now need to meet two new conditions.

The first was that ex-paramilitaries would have to help support victims of paramilitary atrocities. The court said that reparations to victims cannot be ignored for budgetary reasons and the state should not be the only one to bear the burden.

The second is that the demobilizing fighters need to declare and surrender all illegal property associated with paramilitary umbrella group AUC.

The new conditions look set to add complexity to an already lengthy and difficult process.

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