EL ESPECTADOR, June 29, 2022

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Outgoing Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, will have to turn over information about the spending of $8,000,000 furnished to the Colombian Police by the United States. This is thanks to a civil rights action filed by the NGO “Temblores”.

The Minister will also be required to retract his statement that the funds furnished to the Police were not conditioned.

Thanks to a civil rights action filed by the NGO “Temblores”, the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, will have to turn over information about millions of dollars that were furnished to the Colombian Police. The money was provided by the Embassy of the United States, and in spite of Molano’s declarations, it allegedly was furnished with conditions attached.

The reason for the civil rights action, decided by a judge in Bogotá, was that Molano did not answer satisfactorily to a petition that questioned how the money furnished by the United States was to be spent. In spite of the Ministry’s response, the decision held that it was not a sufficiently complete answer to the questions posed by “Temblores”.

The petition asked the Minister to tell how the money was to be spent, to furnish the plans for spending it, to give details about the plans and schedules, and that the Minister retract the statements he made to the effect that the economic support to Colombia had been without conditions.

According to the decision of a criminal court in Bogotá, even though, according to the Ministry, the Vice Minister for Planning and Strategy, Jairo García Guerrero, had furnished an answer to the petition, the answer was not satisfactory. According to the judge, “in spite of the fact that during the legal proceedings, the Defense Minister responded to the petitioning party, he is continuing to violate the right of petition.”

In the civil rights action filed by the NGO Temblores, they point out that the Defense Minister is violating their fundamental rights to access to information and of petition. That is because, as the NGO argues, the Ministry did not provide answers to their petitions, an argument that was partially discussed in the decision in the civil rights action.

The decision requires Minister Molano to respond to the questions contained in the NGO’s petition within 48 hours of receiving notice of the decision. The Court requires an answer that is “clear, precise, consonant, and complete, to the plaintiffs in the action filed May 3, 2022.”

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