(Translated by Peter Lenny, a CSN Volunteer Translator, and edited by Tersa Welsh, a CSN Volunteer Editor)
The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective has expressed its satisfaction at the August 17, 2010 decision by Colombia’s Constitutional Court declaring that the “Supplemental Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defense and Security between the Governments of the Republic of Colombia and the United States of America,” signed in Bogota on October 30, 2009, cannot produce effects on Colombian domestic affairs until it complies with the constitutional procedures specified for solemn treaties.
In the unenforceable petition filed in February, the Collective argued that the agreement breached the constitutional and legal requirements of a treaty that compromises national sovereignty, thus constituting further disregard of the “principle of the separation of powers and faculties of each authority of the Republic to fulfill the purposes of the Social and Democratic State of Law. In any society it is the principle of the separation of powers and the force of the Constitution that derives from it that make the difference between order and arbitrary rule.”
The agreement jeopardizes national sovereignty by assigning considerable strategic portions of Colombia’s territory, air and sea space and electromagnetic spectrum in favor of the United States, as well as granting an unrestricted set of prerogatives not granted to the people of Colombia.
By disregarding their constitutional and legal obligations and by compromising national sovereignty, President Uribe and his ministers have committed de facto acts arbitrarily and unilaterally, and their conduct can be regarded as punishable for abuse of authority (Penal Code, Chapter VIII, Item III – Offenses against the Public Administration), high treason (Penal Code, First chapter on treasonable offenses, Offenses against the existence and security of the State) and positive (active) breach of public duty, for which reasons we request these offenses be investigated by a Commission of Inquiry of the lower house of Congress and by the Attorney-General.
The Lawyers’ Collective calls on President Juan Manuel Santos to reconsider the agreement for its harmful impacts on Colombia’s diplomatic relations in the region, but above all for its adverse effects on our national sovereignty and its impact on human rights, international humanitarian law and the need to encounter a negotiated solution to armed conflict in Colombia.
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"José Alver Restrepo" Lawyers’ Collective
Facebook: José Alvear Restrepo
Tel: 2 846120/2846040