(Translated by Susan Tritten, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN’s Volunteer Editor.)
Monday, November 22, 2010, by Prensa – Colectivo
Today, in a letter, the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective petitioned President Juan Manuel Santos, to address his counterpart, President Ricardo Martinelli, of Panama, petitioning him not to recognize the political asylum that Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado has requested.
They are making this petition, given that Mrs. Hurtado, “is not a political refugee but she is attempting to search for impunity in the face of the facts which implicate her in a conspiracy to commit aggravated crimes and other crimes to which high officials who worked under her in DAS [Administrative Security Department – similar to the FBI] have confessed.”
They remind him, also, that she, through the conspiracy to commit crimes, including the crime of political persecution according to the authority of the International Criminal Court, contributed to the violation of basic rights of scores of persons who were converted into “targets” of the Uribe Velez administration. It is “the obligation of states to cooperate in the fight against impunity in cases of serious violations of human rights, according to international agreements on human rights.”
Also, the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective states that Mrs. Hurtado’s “flight disguised as a search for diplomatic protection” was due to “the Attorney General’s delay in issuing an arrest warrant.”
Considering its importance, we attach the above-mentioned letter.
Lawyers’ Collective Corporation — Jose Alvear Restrepo
Bogota, November 19, 2010
Juan Manuel Santos
President of the Republic
Re: Petition for asylum in the Republic of Panama of the former director of DAS, Maria del Pilar Hurtado
The signatories below, members of the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective and of the International Federation of Human Rights, urge you, in your position as Head of State, to petition your counterpart, Ricardo Martinelli, not to grant the political asylum which Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado requests of the government of Panama. This petition is based on the following points.
1) Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado is not a political refugee; she is attempting to find impunity in the face of facts that implicate her in a conspiracy to commit aggravated and other crimes, to which other high officials of DAS, who served under her, have already confessed. These have been established in documents and in the declarations of Marta Leal, and former Naval commanders, Fernando Tabares, Jorge Lagos, William Romero and Gustavo Sierra, among others.
2) Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado, through the conspiracy to commit crimes, including the crime of political persecution according to the authority of the International Criminal Court, which she began during the previous administration, contributed to the violation of the basic rights of scores of persons who were converted to “targets” of the Uribe Velez administration, It is the obligation of states to cooperate in the fight against impunity in cases of grave human rights violations according to established international human rights agreements.
3) In the investigation carried out by the Attorney General’s office, sufficient proof was established to implicate Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado in criminal culpability. Her flight, disguised as a search for diplomatic protection, is due to the delay of the Attorney General in issuing an arrest warrant. We hope that the Attorney General’s office will now act with necessary diligence to petition, as soon as possible, Mrs. Hurtado’s extradition, so that, Mr. President, Mrs. Hurtado does not escape justice and the Panamanian authorities prevent her flight.
4) Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado was sanctioned by the Procuraderia General de la Nacion [the government’s internal affairs agency] by being barred from office for 18 years for having not only ordered illegal wiretaps, but also persecution campaigns intended to disparage Supreme Court justices and critics of presidential actions of the Alvaro Uribe Velez administration.
5) Mrs. Maria del Pilar Hurtado ought to give account not only before her victims, but before the Colombian people, because her acts contributed profound damage to institutionalism, the observation of human rights, and democracy.
Awaiting very cordially your prompt response, Mr. President,
To respond to this communication, our address is: Carrera 16, No. 6-66, Piso 25, Edificio Avianca, Bogota; Tel.: 2846120-2846040; Fax: 2824270
Rafael Barrios Mendivil, President, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Alirio Uribe Munoz, Executive Director, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Reinaldo Villalba Vargas, Vice President, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Soraya Gutierrez Arguello, Former President, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective; Vice President of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH)
Eduardo Carino Wilches, Founding Member, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Jomary Liz Ortegon, Member, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Dora Lucy Arias, Member, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Maria del Pilar Silva, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Luis Guillermo Perez Casas, Member, Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective; Secretary General, FIDH
Sr. Guillero Mendoza Diago, Attorney General
Sr. Ricardo Martinelli, President of the Republic of Panama
International Commission on Human rights
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