On Tuesday, June 6, the Puebla Group expressed its concern over the opening of certain legal procedures by the Colombian Attorney General’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office in regard to possible indictments against opposition politicians of Colombia.
In an official statement, the Iberoamerican progressive alliance warned of several investigations against parliamentarians, governors and mayors in Colombia, who have opposed the actions and policies of the government of President Iván Duque, such is Congresspersons Iván Cepeda, María José Pizarro, Alexander López and Wilson Arias.
📄 Declaración del Grupo de Puebla sobre la judicialización de la oposición en Colombiahttps://t.co/nO5Lu4EMnk
— Grupo de Puebla (@ProgresaLatam) July 6, 2021
Presidential candidates Sergio Fajardo and Gustavo Petro; governors Carlos Caicedo and Aníbal Gaviria, and former governor and candidate Camilo Romero are also among the opposition politicians against whom procedures have been started.
”In different ways and within the framework of the rule of law, these leaders have criticized the government [of Ivan Duque] or have expressed their support, sympathy or solidarity with the legitimate and recent demonstrations and protests called the paro nacional [national strike],” reads the statement.
The statement also specified that this type of incriminating conduct is a form of judicialization of politics (lawfare) that converts actions inherent to the free exercise of democracy into judicial trials, ignoring, in the case of Colombia, the Supreme Court of Justice ruling on legal guarantees for social protests.
The Puebla Group, to which two incumbent presidents and several former presidents belong, has made a respectful but forceful call to Colombian authorities to hold a broad and plural social dialogue and to offer guarantees to those who exercise their right to dissent, as enshrined in the Constitution of Colombia.
In addition, the Puebla Group has asked its Latin American Council for Justice and Democracy (CLAJUD) to set up a team of human rights defenders and former justices of legal entities of different countries, to carry out the necessary measures to monitor permanently the wellbeing, freedom and rights of the opposition in Colombia until the upcoming elections in 2021.
The joint statement has been signed by several personalities, including the founder of the Puebla Group and former president of Colombia, Ernesto Samper, and other former presidents such as Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) and Fernando Lugo (Paraguay).
Featured image: The Puebla Group logo. Image: Twitter/@progresalatam
Translation: Orinoco Tribune