The New York Times’ Spanish language edition today published an op-ed by Colombian attorneys Pedro Pizano and Andrés Manosalva, entitled “Colombians Should Debate the Uribe Case with Evidence and Without Labels,” that calls for an end to the politicization of justice in that country, particularly around the case of former President Álvaro Uribe, who was arrested without charge on August 4.
“Uribe is innocent until proven guilty,” the authors insist. “We must put an end to sectarian politics, in which belonging to one side seems to impose itself upon the rule of law, the law and democracy.”
“Errors and opacity increase suspicion and mistrust,” Pizano and Monsalve warn. “The institutions and those who represent them must ensure their own legitimacy. As citizens, we must monitor them with the mechanisms provided by law, political debates, journalism and our personal work. In any case, individuals must answer for their real and proven responsibility, not be treated as scapegoats for what is collective responsibility.”
“Some of his detractors want a punishment for Uribe regardless of the evidence or due process,” the authors added.
“Uribe’s defense, led by Jaime Granados Peña and Jaime Lombana Villalba, responded in response to a questionnaire that we formulated for this article: “It is important that President Uribe’s defense is based on the demonstration of the truth.” Both followers and detractors can agree that the demonstration of the truth must prevail.”
To read the full op-ed in Spanish, click here.