World Bulletin/News Desk
Colombia's justice minister resigned on Friday over a controversial reform measure into which lawmakers have slipped provisions that could dismiss cases against politicians with links to right-wing paramilitary groups and allow others to go free.
The scandal erupted after congressmen changed a bill aimed at modernizing the overburdened legal system during the reconciliation of the Senate and House drafts - raising questions about the lingering influence of illegal armed groups.
President Juan Manuel Santos sent the legislation back to Congress on Friday. It was the first time a president had done so since Colombia's 1991 constitution.
"The events of recent days will not let me - because it goes against my principles - continue forward," Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra told reporters, after only around a year in office.
"We do not have, neither I nor my staff, guilt about what happened with the inclusion of inappropriate texts," he said.
On Thursday, Santos said that if the law went into effect, the Attorney General's office would have to halt 1,500 investigations into officials and former officials, some of whom were already in jail and could be released.
Data show estimated net migration numbers reached a record 336,000 as of June 2015
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'The god whom we seek to serve is a god of peace. His holy name must never be used to justify hatred and violence,' Pope Francis says
Sacking of French Muslim social worker for wearing religious garb did not violate freedom-of-religion law, says court
The toll is 18 dead, 11 hurt, almost 100 homes burned down in the village of Wogom
'We still have not heard any articulate apologies from Turkey's highest political level nor any proposals to compensate for the harm and damage,' says Russian president
Francois Hollande and Matteo Renzi also discuss fight against ISIL and the situation in Libya
At least 277 people have been killed in Burundi since the outbreak of the political and security crisis in April 2015, the UN has said in a statement
Cameron said that it was in Britain's national security interests to strike ISIL extremists and deny them a 'safe haven' in Syria
South Africa has agreed to enforce a Turkish court’s warrants for four ex-Israeli military commanders involved in the 2010 deadly Mavi Marmara attack, police say
Economic penalties also target businessman representing Assad regime 'business and financial interests in Russia,' says Treasury Dept.
Russia is continuing its retaliation to the downing of the Russian jet with reports claiming that Russian customs turning back Turkish travellers
The Western Balkans is at the heart of battle against terrorism, radicalization, says European Council president
'What's most important for Canada is that we continue to be a strong player within the coalition against ISIL, also in terms of military engagement,' PM Trudeau says
The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran.
President Mustafa Akinci says more progress made in last five months than previous 47 years