Colombia’s President Ivan Duque is behaving like a “dictator” in his attempt to defend former President Alvaro Uribe against a Supreme Court detention order, opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda said Saturday.
The opposition senator said he and his defense attorneys were looking into possible legal action against the president for his “constant attacks on the independence of the judicial branch” after the high court placed Uribe under house arrest.
The opposition senator is the victim of the alleged witness tampering practices of the former president and boss of Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party.
Cepeda’s warning followed warnings by Inspector General Fernando Carrillo who warned the president and other government officials to “abide by and comply with judicial decisions.”
Duque said last week that the former president should defend himself against fraud and bribery charges in freedom and announced his support for a judicial reform promoted by his party.
President Ivan Duque, it is typical of dictators and despots to control or destroy the judicial branch. This is how you behave: you repeatedly try to challenge and influence the Judiciary, you threaten to “reform” justice to redesign it in favor of your political mentor.
Senator Ivan Cepeda
The court’s historic decision to place Uribe under house arrest followed an investigation of more than two years over the former president’s alleged bribery of witnesses to file false charges against the opposition senator.
Uribe’s house arrest plunged the government and the ruling party in crisis as the criminal charges would eject the former president from the Senate.
The president has been an unconditional supporter of Uribe, who Duque called “the eternal president” while campaigning to succeed his political patron in 2018.
Both the president and his political patron are investigated over their alleged involvement in a conspiracy with drug traffickers to rig these elections.
These investigations and mounting evidence of ties between Uribe and drug traffickers led Duque’s opponent in the elections, opposition Senator Gustavo Petro, to claim the president is “illegitimate.”