Colombia has asked the U.S. Department of State to grant sovereign immunity to former President Alvaro Uribe, who was recently subpoenaed in a civil case against coal giant Drummond.
The request was made on November 12, a week after the court order was delivered to Uribe by a human rights activist at Georgetown University, where the former President is a guest lecturer, and ten days before he was supposed to give testimony, but did not show up.
According to Colombian radio station La FM, Colombia’s ambassador to Washington and Uribe’s Defense Minister Gabriel Silva, requested the sovereign immunity on the grounds that his ex-boss had been head of state. The request is exceptional, because generally this type of immunity is granted to present heads of state, not former heads of state.
Uribe was subpoenaed on behalf of a group of victims of paramilitary violence in an area where Drummond was active. According to the victims, Uribe had direct knowledge of the alleged cooperation between the coal company and the AUC.