September 5, 2007 / 1:20 PM / 10 years ago

Adulterers beware - or pay the price

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Married Colombians engaged in passionate extra-curricular activities may soon have to think twice about their philandering ways if a senator’s proposed legislation punishing adultery gets the green light.

Sen. Edgar Espindola said he has proposed a law that would impose fines and enforced community service as punishment for adulterers in an effort to protect family values and shield children from broken homes.

“I believe a lot of my companions are going to support this initiative,” Espindola said on Tuesday. “This project should motivate Colombians to reflect on the importance of the marriage, the home and the importance of family.”

He said aggrieved parties could take complaints and evidence such as photographs to local family judges, who would decide to impose fines of up to 20 minimum monthly salaries -- around $4,000 -- and obligatory welfare service.

Spouses forgiven by partners would escape punishment.

Some local radio commentators joked the proposal would get short shrift in Colombia’s Congress because lawmakers were likely to want to hide their own indiscretions in the mostly Roman Catholic country.

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