Colombia’s ex-vice president Francisco Santos issued a public apology after reconciling with unions over libel and slander charges, reported local media Friday.
The Colombian unions Sintrateléfonos, Sintraemcali, and Sintraunicol filed suit against Santos and presidential advisor Jose Obdulio Gaviria, in September 2010. The two had accused union leaders of signing a document supporting “armed struggle” and “terrorism” during an international conference attended by the leaders entitled “Problems of the Revolution in Latin America.”
A month later, it was reported that the International Observatory for Lawyers would watch over the development of the case, as case lawyers had been targets of various threats and harassment.
During his public apology Santos said, “There wasn’t enough information when I made the statements. . . I should have asked the unions what had happened.”
Gaviria has not reached a reconciliation with the unions. His case continues and may go to judgement.
Gaviria, the cousin of slain drug lord Pablo Escobar, is a highly controversial figure who faces accusations that include arranging meetings between government officials and paramilitaries and involvement in the illegal wiretapping scandal that occurred under former president Alvaro Uribe’s administration.