Colombian authorities opened an investigation against retired military officials on Tuesday after a series of emails mentioning the overthrow of President Juan Manuel Santos was uncovered.
“We will determine whether or not there was relevant criminal conduct by high-ranking former military who have proposed to replace the president through mechanisms prohibited by the Constitution,” said Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre.
Montealegre said a commission will be formed to investigate the damning emails between retired officers General Eduardo Santos Quiñones and Major Jorge Galvis Noyes. In one of the messages, written in response to a May 15 terrorist attack in Bogota that targeted former Minister Fernando Londoño, Galvis demanded that Santos “meet his electoral obligations, or otherwise be removed from office.”
“The Colombian Constitution clearly states how to proceed in removing a president, the way one could be removed from office is established there. Any other mechanism other than that mentioned in the constitution is an extra-constitutional measure,” Montealegre said.
The head of Colombia’s military, General Alejandro Navas affirmed the army’s support for Santos in a press conference May 23. “Today we want to affirm our loyalty and devotion to our duty. We will continue along the path that our constitutional commander has outlined. We will observe the principle of national unity for airmen, sailors, soldiers and police officers.”