Former Colombian Minister of Social Security Diego Palacio Tuesday criticized the letter sent by a Colombian priest condemning the appointment of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at Georgetown University (GU) as “un-Christian.”
Last week Colombian human rights activist and Catholic priest Father Javier Giraldo protested Uribe’s appointment in a letter to GU affiliated American Jesuit Priest John Dear, saying the posting “doesn’t only profoundly offend Colombians who still have ethical principles, but also puts the ethical training of young people attending Georgetown University at risk.”
In his response, Palacio defends Uribe and harshly criticizes the position taken by Giraldo.
“I sense in the letter a profound sense of deep hatred and resentment, which suggests his points lose some objectivity,” Palacio said.
Dear himself has condemned Uribe’s appointment at GU, saying “Friends and I have urged Georgetown’s leaders to disinvite Uribe, and have also begun a campaign to protest his presence.”
A protester was arrested Monday for disturbing the peace during a lecture by Uribe at GU.
Uribe’s position as an invited professor at the university has drawn much criticism and protest from students and NGOs. Protesters argue that Uribe’s appointment as a “distinguished scholar in the practice of global leadership” at the Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service that the former leader does not represent the ideals promoted by the school.
Giraldo, who works with the Center for Research and Popular Education (Cinep), has been previously threatened for his work as a human rights defender and speaking out against Uribe. He accused the former president of “founding and protecting” paramilitary groups that “assassinated and disappeared millions of people.”
Palacio is currently under investigation for “yidispolitica,” the term used in Colombia to refer to Congressmen bribed to vote in favor of the 2006 referendum which sought to allow Uribe to run for a second presidential term.