Uruguayan Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), will meet with Colombian opposition spokespersons this Saturday. After negative reactions to his press release this Thursday, a strong statement in favor of the alleged version of institutional decay in Colombia by progressive President Gustavo Pedro: “The OAS demands the abandonment of the efforts of various actors” politicians damaging the democratic process in Colombia and on June 19, 2022 duly elected President Gustavo Pedro in his It deems it necessary to guarantee that the President completes his term.”
The statement, released as the country experienced a political upheaval as a result of several protesters besieging the Supreme Court over the failure to elect an attorney general, condemned threats to disrupt President Pedro's constitutional mandate. Although it does not explain what these threats against the institutions are, it calls on all state actors and institutions to respect democratic principles, saying, “Constitutional personality must be guaranteed to elected officials, respecting the political rights of the elected people. chose them.” At the end of the document, Almagro calls on the court to appoint a new prosecutor “to provide constitutional and political stability to the country.”
Almagro made the statement at the end of a meeting with three congressmen from the ruling party of the historic accord, who traveled to the United States to denounce the institutional decay the president has complained about in recent weeks to international organizations. Many of the judges consulted by EL PAÍS have no factual or legal basis. “I held a working meeting with Colombian congressmen Carmen Ramírez, Alejandro Toro and Alejandro Ocampo on the main current political, economic and social issues in their country, with an emphasis on the country's institutional stability,” the secretary-general wrote. on their social networks.
Ocampo, representative of the Chamber of Valle del Cauca, explained the reasons for his visit: “We came to the OAS to learn about the terrible situations that endanger the functioning and balance of power in Colombia and endanger the government of President Pedro. .” Carmen Ramírez, Congresswoman for the International Constituency, said in her own way: “We demanded that guarantees be given so that the transitional government would have the possibility to exercise its right to govern.”
After the report sparked a political uproar, the secretary issued a message in response to the tense situation on Thursday, demanding respect for the autonomy of the judiciary. “Reaffirming what was revealed in today's report on the political situation in Colombia, we express that companies must operate in an adequate framework of respect, peace and tranquility, guaranteeing that their decisions are made without any pressure. In this framework, it is reiterated that the autonomy of the judiciary must be respected to ensure the effective functioning of democratic institutions.
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This was not enough to avoid rejecting the initial report as reflecting the views of the government and its allies. Criticism came from the right-wing opposition, naturally, from various sectors of politics. Senator Paloma Valencia of the Center for Democracy, one of the Eurip congresswomen, wrote: “Leaders of the OAS, there are no coup attempts in Colombia. Investigating the president's son and some of his campaign collaborators for criminal activities is not a conspiracy, it is the checks and balances of democracy.”
Some members of the Democratic Center, including Valencia, María Fernanda Cabal and Miguel Uribe, are expected to meet Almagro next Wednesday to tell the other side of the coin. Earlier, this Saturday, he will be met by Juan Guillermo Juluca, the former governor of Meta and a fierce critic of the government. “I thank this place for such an important moment for Colombia. From a democratic point of view, I explain the extreme events of yesterday and the future implications for our country in actions that put undue stress on constitutionally established counterweights,” Zuluaga wrote in X.
Beyond the opposition, Senator Humberto de la Calle spoke from the Freedom Center, known as the government's chief negotiator with the extinct FARC guerrillas. The former minister has also sent a scathing letter to Almagro. “It is difficult to paint a more inaccurate and distant picture of the Colombian reality,” he responded to the report. ”It is clear that you have chosen to spread the thesis maintained by the Colombian government. You chose the easiest way to distance yourself from the truth, believing that you were fulfilling your mission at the OAS. But he has done so with categorical assertions that they require minimal verification before allowing him to use the balanced language expected of a dignitary with such high responsibilities.”
De la Calle insisted: “I have to tell you that people in Colombia who have the least amount of common sense and common sense are not in the business of overthrowing the government. No political party, no trade union, no armed forces, no church, no academe, no civil society organization promotes, desires, or imagines the dark panorama you describe. However, Uribe Senator María Fernanda Cabal proposed to prevent the end of President Pedro's term: “It is more complicated than we believe, our challenge today is to ensure that Pedro does not stay four years, or that he does not end independence, or with what we have created,” he said. He told a forum in Medellin in 2023.
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