Communique of the Permanent Committee for Defense of Human Rights
(Translated by John I. Laun, a CSN volunteer translator)
Bogota, June 27, 2008
THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO RETURN TO INSTITUTIONAL LEGITIMACY
The sentence issued by the Colombian Supreme Court establishes that the Conservative Member of Congress Yidis Medina was in essence bribed by the present government for the purpose of having her vote be decisive for the passage of the legislative Act which opened the way for Presidential re-election.
The consequence of the law which approved re-election would be deprived of legitimacy , not only by the criminal maneuvers carried out by common agreement between Congresswoman Medina and the government, but also because several of the Members of the Congress which approved it are in prison because, on their part, they wound up being elected with votes of paramilitaries or for their criminal ties to paramilitaries.
Immediately upon learning of the sentence of the Court, President Uribe went out to the news media to condemn the Court’s decision and to announce that he would convoke Congress to approve a referendum as a step toward repeating the Presidential election of 2006, when in reality what is in question is the very constitutional support for re-election. There could be no greater political obscenity. Nor would a Congress sunk in parapolitical scandals, with 33 of its members in prison and another 60 investigated, have authority to approve a referendum of this nature.
We ask if the President’s unhealthy grasping for power means that we are traveling along the road to a coup d’etat or the danger of a dissolution of the Courts.
There can be no doubt that the Presidency of Alvaro Uribe is sailing upon a sea of illegitimacy and as a consequence the most sensible thing for the health of the nation is for him to resign and, with that, to permit a process of democratization of the country.
Now it is up to us to support the sentence of the Supreme Court, adopted through democratic channels and those of the law. At the same time, we wait for the Constitutional Court to resolve the Action of Review of the legislative Act which permitted re-election, based upon the position of a group of organizations of the Movement of Victims and also accepted now by the Supreme Court. In the meantime the country should show itself to be vigilant toward the authoritarian and illegal excesses of the executive power.
Board of Directors
June 27, 2008
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621