(Translated by Peter Lenny, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor)
The National Movement of Victims of Crimes of State (MOVICE) expresses its profound concern at the lack of judicial independence in the preliminary proceedings filed against former President Alvaro Uribe Vélez for alleged omission in the murder of former Mayor Eudaldo “Tito” Díaz, of El Roble.
The commission of inquiry of the lower house of Congress has opened a preliminary inquiry against former President Alvaro Uribe Vélez for alleged omission in the murder of the former Mayor of El Roble, Eudaldo “Tito” Díaz. Four months ago, the attorney, Adolfo Jesús Hoyos, denounced the former president on the grounds that Uribe did not act in a timely manner to prevent the murder of the mayor of El Roble, particularly considering that he announced his death at a neighborhood council meeting, in Corozal, Sucre State. Under Resolución de Reparto 099 of 2010, the inquiry was assigned to the Partido de la U’s representative to the lower house, Hernán Penagos Giraldo.
At a local government council meeting on February 1, 2003 in the town of Sincelejo (department of Sucre), in the presence of the then President of the Republic, Alvaro Uribe Vélez, Eudaldo “Tito” Díaz warned that there was a plan to murder him. In spite of his accusations, he was murdered on April 11, 2003. On February 16, 2010, Edelmiro “Chino” Anaya, a paramilitary vigilante, and Carlos Enrique Verbel Vitola, the commander of “Tito” Díaz’s bodyguard, were sentenced to 37 years and nine months imprisonment as the material authors of his murder and, in December 2009, Salvador Arana Sus, former governor of the department Sucre, was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment as their intellectual mentor.
At present, there are more than 200 suits pending against former President Uribe Vélez and more than 50 that the Inspector General and the Prosecutor General have filed against President Juan Manuel Santos for alleged irregularities when he was Minister of Defense.
Members of Eudaldo Díaz’s family have been threatened and harassed on repeated occasions in their struggle for justice and the truth. At the moment, the fear is that an attempt may be under way to bring false charges against his son, Juan Davíd Díaz, who is a member of the Sucre Chapter of MOVICE. In a spontaneous statement in March 2010, Edelmiro “Chino” Anaya claimed that Juan David Díaz had belonged to the paramilitary organizations in the region and, as a result, the judge presiding in the “Chino” Anaya case applied to the local branch of the Attorney-General’s Office, if it considered this appropriate, to open an investigation into Juan David on the grounds of conspiracy to commit a crime. Edelmiro “Chino” Anaya repeated his false accusations in August 2010 in another of his spontaneous statements under Law 975. In spite of the several applications that MOVICE and the Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (Interchurch Commission for Justice and Peace, which is the petitioner in the injunctions for the Sucre Chapter of MOVICE) have filed with the National Attorney-General’s Office requesting information as to the existence of legal proceedings against Juan David Díaz, to date these have not been answered.
– That the Commission be given the tools necessary to pursue its investigations in a timely and impartial manner.
– That the accusation against former President Alvaro Uribe Vélez for alleged omission in the murder of Eudaldo Díaz be reassigned to someone who does not form part of the party bloc supporting Alvaro Uribe Vélez.
– That the Prosecutor General inform MOVICE whether or not legal proceedings exist against Juan David Díaz.
– Full guarantees of life and physical and psychological safety for the family of Eudaldo Díaz.
National Movement of Victims of Crimes of State (MOVICE)
13 October 2010
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