Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Watch the video: We Are Global Voices!

We report on 167 countries. We translate in 35 languages. We are Global Voices. Watch the video »

Over 800 of us from all over the world work together to bring you stories that are hard to find by yourself. But we can’t do it alone. Even though most of us are volunteers, we still need your help to support our editors, our technology, outreach and advocacy projects, and our community events.

Donate now »
GlobalVoices in Learn more »

Colombia: Conflict Continues Between Uribe and Supreme Court

Over the past year, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez and the Supreme Court have been engaged in a fight because of the so-called Parapolitics scandal, where more than 30 lawmakers from the ruling coalition have been jailed, and dozens of politicians are being investigated, because of their alleged links with right-wing paramilitary squads, including Mario Uribe Escobar, the president's cousin, who wasrecently released. Last month, Semana newsmagazine revealed [es] that Uribe's press and legal secretaries met with the lawyer of former United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC for its initials in Spanish) boss Diego Fernando Murillo aka “Don Berna” lawyer and a demobilized paramilitary (who would eventually be murdered). The meeting was held at Casa de Nariño (the presidential residency, or ‘Casa de Nari’, as it was referred to by some of the involved in leaked phone conversations), supposedly because they had information incriminating deputy justice Iván Velásquez.

The day after the Semana article was published, President Uribe defended his officials in a press conference [es], claiming that “that people who wanted to testify about things concerning national security are welcome at the Presidential Palace” and that “the material handed by the paramilitaries wasn’t enough to incriminate the Court.” This week, the Colombian ambassador to the Dominican Republic resigned because of his links to Don Berna's envoy, and the Attorney's office is probing him and the other officials involved.

Colombian bloggers seem to take sides on the issue, some supporting the government, some others supporting the Supreme Court, whose president reacted to the scandal claiming the Presidency was conspiring against it.

Atrabilioso [es]‘s Jaime Restrepo attacks the Supreme Court because they seem to seek to damage the government.

Los magistrados, como cualquier ciudadano, tienen derecho a debatir, a exponer su defensa y a no guardar silencio frente a los delicados hechos cuyas explicaciones evaden o minimizan en el mejor de los casos. ¿Acaso esos cuestionamientos son irrespeto a la independencia de poderes? Por supuesto que no: Los señalamientos contra el poder judicial son graves y el país está esperando aclaraciones y, porqué no, procesos en las instancias competentes.

Sin embargo, que esos pronunciamientos tengan la intención de ocasionar un perjuicio internacional al poder ejecutivo sí deja a la luz una maniobra desesperada de ataque y muestra a la Corte como el último bastión de aquellos cuyos feudos, privilegios y vagabundería están amenazados por el gobierno Uribe. Semejante respuesta es la exhibición de una maniobra que intenta llevar la confrontación al escenario internacional para que puedan entrometerse, de lleno, los patrocinadores y aliados latinoamericanos y europeos de las Farc.

Magistrates, as any other citizen, have the right to argue, to defend themselves and not to keep silent toward the delicate facts whose explanations are dodged or minimized at best. Are those questionings disrespectful to the independence of the branches? Of course not: the accusations against the judicial branch are serious and the country is expecting clarifications and, why not, corresponding legal processes.

Nevertheless, the fact that those accusations are intended to cause international harm to the executive branch does reveal a desperate attack and shows the Court as the last bastion of those whose feuds, privileges, and lifestyles are threatened by the Uribe administration. That kind of answer shows the confrontational move that they are trying to take to an international stage so the FARC's Latin American and European sponsors and allies can fully meddle [in Colombia's issues].

At equinoXio [es], Marsares writes about the intentions of those who leaked the information about the meeting to the media:

Aparte de lo que signifiquen estas visitas de delincuentes, de entrada hay un hecho curioso. La reunión se realizó hace tres meses y fue intrascendente. Si no lo hubiera sido, y dados las relaciones álgidas que mantiene con la Corte, muy seguramente el presidente hubiera aprovechado la situación para atacarla. Pero nada pasó. ¿Por qué ahora se saca a la luz pública? La deducción es clara. Quien filtró la información quería causar un escándalo que perturbara aún más las relaciones entre el poder judicial y el Gobierno.

¿Pero quién lo hizo?

(…)

Todo es posible, pero la hipótesis más razonable es que la filtración proviene de los paramilitares y todos caímos en la trampa que armaron: enfrentar a los poderes públicos. Como en el pasado lo hizo Pablo Escobar con bombas materiales, hoy sus herederos atacan con bombas de publicidad malsana, buscando como el extinto capo, debilitar al Estado colombiano.

Besides what these visits by criminals mean, since the beginning there is something interesting. The meeting took place three months ago and was insignificant. If it were not, and given the critical relationship he maintains with the [Supreme] Court, the president would likely have taken advantage of the situation in order to turn on it. But nothing happened. Why is this put into the spotlight now? The conclusion is clear. Whoever leaked the information wanted to cause a scandal to upset, even more, the relationships between the judicial branch and the Government. But who did it?
(…) Everything is possible, but the most reasonable hypothesis is that the leaking came from the paramilitaries and we all fell into the trap they set up: to bring the public powers into conflict. As Pablo Escobar did it in the past with real bombs, today his heirs attack with bombs of bad publicity, seeking to weaken the Colombian State just as the deceased mafia boss.

Don Blog Pérez takes the news with some cynicism [es]:

[E]l asunto es que hace siete meses a la Casa de Alvarito de Nariño entró una camioneta en la que llegaron el abogado de alias Don Berna (paramilitar supuestamente desmovilizado), y un representante de la oficina de Envigado. El vehículo ingresó por la puerta trasera -por motivos de seguridad, claro-, y según explicó hoy Uribe el motivo de la visita fue la entrega de unas pruebas que incriminan a los magistrados de la corte suprema de justicia de manipulación de testigos, últimas tres palabras que Alvarito repitió como si fuera la única respuesta a todas las preguntas de los carnívoros periodistas.

¿Pero por qué se quedó callado el presidente y no sacó al aire las pruebas? pues según explicó él mismo, “las pruebas no eran nada trascendente”, es decir, que supuestamente los visitantes fueron a llevar pruebas falsas pero que él no podía negarles la oportunidad de hablar “porque este gobierno ha escucha’o a todo el que tiene algo qué decir” (que vaina, ¿será que Uribe no lee a Don Blog Pérez?). En fin, como al presidente nadie puede llevarle la contraria, digamos que se estaban tomando un tinto, de la forma más honesta, sincera, transparente, justa, noble, cristiana y legal que un gobierno como el nuestro puede hacerlo.

The thing is seven months ago [sic] a pickup entered Alvarito's Nariño's House carrying aka Don Berna's (a supposedly demobilized paramilitary boss) lawyer and a representative from the [criminal organization known as] Office of Envigado. The vehicle entered the backdoor -for security concerns, of course-, and as Uribe explained today, the reason was the delivery of some evidence incriminating the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice on witness manipulation, three words that Álvaro kept saying over and over as if it was the only answer to all the questions from the carnivorous journalists. But why did the President stay quiet and not publish the evidences? Because, as he explained himself, “the evidence was nothing significant”, that is, allegedly the visitors went to deliver false evidence, but he couldn't deny them a chance to talk “because this government has listened to everyone who has something to say” (too bad, how come Uribe doesn't read Don Blog Pérez?). Whatever, as no one is allowed to disagree with the President, let's say they were having a cup of coffee, with the most honest, sincere, transparent, fair, noble, Christian, and legal way a Government as the one we have could have done.

Thumbnail by René Medel

World regions

Countries

Languages