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Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Judicial "set-up" against the opposition

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, a CSN volunteer translator)

From the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia
Some computers have appeared and others have disappeared, at the convenience of President Uribe.
Senator Gustavo Petro, referring to paragraph 91, page 33 of the Interpol report on the so-called “Reyes computers”, has demanded that the Minister of Defense explain why, between March 1 and March 3 of 2008, 48,055 files were created, opened, modified or deleted by the Colombian Army, in contradiction with another part of the report that assures that “Reyes’ laptop was not manipulated” and that “the security and civilian agencies that had control of the computer respected the chain of custody.”
With the extradition of fourteen paramilitary commanders to the United States, just at the moment when they were starting to reveal the involvement of Vice President Francisco Santos, Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos and Treasury Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, close associates of President Alvaro Uribe in “parapolitics”, the government has put up a smokescreen, trying to divert attention from the scandals involving criminal connections with the paramilitaries and with the corruption demonstrated in the so-called “Yidis-politics”.
By the political manipulation, announced recently by Public Prosecutor MARIO IGUARAN, they are trying to prosecute congressional representatives Piedad Cordoba, Wilson Borja and Gloria Ines Ramirez in retaliation for having initiated debates about “parapolitics.” In the same manner, they are trying to involve the former presidential candidate Alvaro Leyva, the former Advisor for Peace Lazaro Vivero, the manager of the weekly Voice, Carlos Lozano and the journalist William Parra, all for trying to push initiatives in favor of peace and of humanitarian agreements, contrary to the warlike attitude of the government.
Once again the illegal character of the Colombian Government is made manifest.  It was responsible for the genocide of the Patriotic Union Party and for thousands of crimes against the popular movement. Now they are starting a new phase: opening judicial prosecutions, trying to imprison those leaders of the opposition who survived the official slaughter, as in the case of Wilson Borja, who suffered an attempt on his life or of Piedad Cordoba who was kidnapped by Carlos Castaño.
This is the way that Uribe and his supporters are trying to establish a kind of desperate parallel with the scandal of “parapolitics”, which has 32 congressional representatives of Uribe’s party, including his cousin Mario Uribe, in jail, and has involved ambassadors, ministers, governors, and high-ranking military commanders.
We are certain that the judicial branch will act according to law and will take no part in the cheap manipulations of executive power.  They are not only trying to obstruct the prosecutions that are being carried forward by the Supreme Court of Justice, but now they want to criminalize the legitimate actions of the opposition, in order to clear the way for them to perpetuate their authoritarian hegemony.
Bogotá, May 22, 2008

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