Colombia’s former president should not be on flotilla inquiry panel

Dear Editor: The U.N. secretary general named Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe Velez to be the vice chair of a U.N. panel of inquiry into the Israeli attack on a six-ship humanitarian flotilla bringing aid to Gaza. Uribe is particularly unqualified to be a member of this commission for the following reasons:

1. His government presided over the murder of thousands of innocent non-combatants, many of them kidnapped and killed by the military and presented as “guerrillas killed in combat.”

2. Uribe supports illegal paramilitary forces, and his political coalition is composed of figures with paramilitary ties.

3. Uribe oversaw illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court justices and opposition political leaders, for his own personal political reasons.

4. To win re-election Uribe bribed a Colombian congresswoman to change her vote to one in favor of his re-election.

5. Uribe has shown little support for the United Nations in the past.

6. Uribe presided over a government whose policies, particularly failure to control paramilitary violence in the countryside, led to the displacement of millions of people, bringing Colombia to the point of having the second largest internally displaced population in the world.

7. Uribe could hardly be considered impartial as a member of the Gaza inquiry panel, since his government had a very close relationship with the Israeli military, sending Colombian military officers to Israel for training and receiving support from Israeli military for Colombian counter-insurgency activities.

Emily Hansen

Colombia Support Network

Published in The Cap Times Sunday, August 15, 2010 4:55 am

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