Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe was ordered released from detention this morning by a Colombian judge, after being held for two months without charge. This is the first victory in the fight for justice against a politically motivated case against Uribe driven by Senator Iván Cepeda, the FARC’s top ally.
While those fighting for truth and the rule of law are celebrating today, a long fight for justice is still ahead.
Truth is paramount. As President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe fought to protect democracy and bring all armed gangs to justice. He demobilized 40,000 paramilitaries and jailed all their leaders. Uribe disarmed 20,000 guerrillas and drove the FARC to near defeat. Terrorist attacks fell 70%, with homicides down 40% and kidnappings down 90%. He fought the drug cartels in alliance with the United States and slashed illegal cocaine production by more than two-thirds. For justice to be served, truth must prevail.
Cepeda’s sham case against Uribe has been riddled with judicial irregularities, violations of due process and constitutional rights, and growing questions about hidden payments and assets and unexplained links involving the accuser, his star witness and the judge who ordered Uribe’s arrest.
To this day, not one shred of material evidence has been presented against Uribe in this case.
This is why the fight continues:
- Baseless Accusations in a Politically Motivated Case
The Uribe case is driven by Senator Iván Cepeda, the top political ally of the FARC in Colombia. Cepeda has spent over a decade boosting his own political profile by making false accusations and filing cases against Uribe without ever producing a shred of material evidence. The FARC and Cepeda share common goals – to end Colombia’s partnership with the United States and install a Marxist state. Uribe and his legacy are their greatest obstacle, Cepeda and the FARC they are determined to destroy both with this case.
- No Material Evidence and a False Witness
The only evidence is hearsay from a prison inmate, Juan Guillermo Monsalve, who was offered benefits and cash to provide induced testimony against Uribe. At the same time, testimony that was corroborated alleges that Cepeda attempted to suborn perjury against Uribe in a U.S. federal prison visit. Investigative reports have uncovered hidden, unexplained assets owned by the allegedly impoverished Monsalve family, raising wider doubts about his credibility. Further questioning under oath found that Monsalve lied to the Supreme Court in his testimony at least eight times. How can a case be credible when no material evidence supports it and the star witness was caught lying under oath?
- Violation of Due Process
The investigative judge in this case issued a falsified warrant to tap Alvaro Uribe’s phone, compromising the integrity of the entire case file. An international human rights organization with consultative status at the United Nations “observed evidence of an arbitrary detention” that violated Uribe’s human rights. In no democratic system of justice are falsified warrants and arbitrary arrest considered due process.
- Violation of the Colombian Constitution
After the use of a falsified wiretap order, none of the more than 20,000 intercepted conversations showed any wrongdoing by Uribe. Despite the warrant being irregular, all of the recordings were transferred to the Uribe case file where they remain part of the case today, even after his release from detention. This was in direct violation of Article 29 of the Colombian Constitution, which states, that all evidence collected in violation of due process is null and void.
Because justice is not served so long as this case continues, the Free Uribe campaign goes on to promote the truth, defend the rule of law and seek justice for the man who saved Colombia from the abyss.