The acting president of Colombia’s Supreme Court, Jaime Arrubla, called for international intervention on Thursday, following continued interference with the court by the government of President Alvaro Uribe, reports Caracol Radio.
According to Arrubla’s statement, the court “calls upon the international community to give their support and solidarity to the [Colombian] judicial system, which once again is being attacked for exercising its functions, and urges the national government to implement the recommendations that have been imposed by international rapporteurs.”
The court, which has been locked in conflict with the Uribe administration over issues such as extraditions and investigations into government officials, “publicly rejected the inappropriate expressions … and undue interference to judicial autonomy” by Uribe, and demanded that “judicial decisions be respected by all authorities and citizens.”
Trying to assuage the conflict between the executive branch and the judiciary, Colombia’s interior minister, close Uribe ally Fabio Valencia Cossio, sent a letter to the Supreme Court president calling for an urgent meeting between the two bodies.
According to the letter, the minister seeks “not only seeks to address the issue of extradition, but also the constitutional order itself, and have a serious reflection on the constitutional mandate of harmonious cooperation between public authorities.”
Uribe, who proposes creating a law to shield military personnel from civilian prosecution, said, “The way to support the victims of the Palace of Justice is not to make victims out of the armed forces … The only thing we ask for from the justice system is impartial and timely justice for the dedicated member of the armed forces, who must not be mistreated for diverting crimes of terrorism throughout our long history.”