Colombia Passes Law Against Racism

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BOGOTA, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The Colombian Congress approved a law punishing those guilty of discrimination with one to three years in prison and fines as high as $4,500, officials said.

The law passed Tuesday makes it a crime to discriminate against a person based on race, ethnicity, religion or gender, El Espectador reported.

Christian Salazar, of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said racial discrimination is a reality in Colombia that will not be tolerated.

“The Colombian government must focus on ending all discrimination,” Salazar said.

A Colombian newspaper reported earlier this year Afro-Colombians deliberately were rejected for housing in Bogota.

The law must be signed by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and approved by the constitutional court before going into effect.

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