By Ramiro Bejarano Guzmán, EL ESPECTADOR, November 20, 2021
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
It’s incredible that the administration enacted the law that suspended the Law of Guarantees for a year during the pre-election period, and is trying to jerk us around with the big story of creating a public-private association that supposedly will watch over inter-administration contracting.
Duque signed the law, disregarding a court order that prevented him from putting it into immediate effect. Even if that order was issued in error, under the rule of law, it has to be obeyed. Except here. In effect, the Executive has defied the Judiciary and put into effect a law that establishes a terrible precedent and an unmistakable signal of authoritarianism. They want to justify the arbitrariness with the arrogant argument that nobody can tell the administration not to sign a law or restrict its effectiveness. By making use of this contrivance, Duque once again has abused the dignity of the judiciary, without the Interinstitutional Commission of the Judicial Branch having protested this affront. Ah! The Justices are taken down a notch, and then they go to the Palace for a cup of coffee.
But it wasn’t enough for them to process and issue this weaseling law and sign it, contrary to a judicial order, but rather, now that the grotesquery is in effect, at the behest of the powerful National Industries Association (ANDI in Spanish), they created an alliance “between the public and private sectors and communications media”, which supposedly would watch over and “minutely monitor the inter-administration contracts that are signed between the administration and entities in the territories”.
ANDI, Colombia Purchases Efficiently, the EL TIEMPO newspaper, and Joined Together for Transparency will watch over the contracting in the pre-electoral period. The last-named group is not a legal entity, but rather a program financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID does not carry out the watching function; other private entities do that. That means, for me, myself, and I, that with the exception of USAID, all of the associates, if they aren’t government officials, they are on the government side, not just for this term, but for any term. They put the pie at the schoolhouse door, because what the Law of Guarantees was about was to make sure that the campaign period would not be used for inter-administration contracting that would favor any candidate or political group. Now, under the leadership of the administration itself, which is not impartial and not neutral in the voting that’s coming up, this alliance is trying to sell the fraud that the next election will be pure and clean.