So far this year, cell phone theft increased by 12.2% compared to last year, as reported in Semana; Only in May of this year there were 19,288 cell phone thefts. Given the alarming figure and due to the prison crisis that Colombia is experiencing today, the Minister of Justice, Néstor Osuna, announced a proposal that has generated all kinds of comments. Ministry of Justice commented before the Congress of the Republic that Colombia should not continue to punish cell phone thieves with prison. In return, the thieves should “compensate” the victim, Osuna said. More specifically, he proposes that the aggressor and the victim have a meeting to reach a judicial reconciliation. It would determine what would be the act of “compensation” that the thief will have with the victim. Among the possibilities proposed by the official is the option that the thief return to the victim the cell phone he stole, but not the same one, but a new one, in addition to paying six months of the mobile data bill.
“Rather than spending time in jail, wouldn’t it be more useful for him to get his cell phone back and to compensate him for the damage they caused him? Wouldn’t it be more useful if we could rehearse a reunion, which is not easy, but it is possible, between the aggressor and the victim? We have to think about all of this”, explained MinJusticia.
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Likewise, the Minister argued that said agreement would be mediated by a judge who will provide adequate guarantees to both parties. This Osuna initiative was born as an idea that will complement the country’s laws to create restorative justice. “For example, a person whose cell phone is stolen feels recovered if they return their cell phone, the aggressor would have to give them a new cell phone and compensate them with six months of cell phone bill,” argued the Minister.
However, Osuna clarified that the initiative to end cell phone theft is only “draft ideas and reflections out loud.” Even, it is not yet determined if this proposal will be part of the justice reform that is planned to be presented by the National Government.