Following years of clashes between Colombia’s government and judiciary, the country’s new interior and justice minister announced that they two branches of government will bury the hatchet.
According to Minister Vargas Lleras, the government will withdraw a law proposed by the Uribe government that would make the election of the national prosecutor general the responsibility of the presidency rather than the Supreme Court.
Vargas Lleras also announced that, from today on, no government official will question rulings by the courts.
The minister made the announcement after a meeting between President Juan Manuel Santos, Vargas Lleras, and members of Colombia’s Judiciary.
Vargas Lleras did not speak about the long-delayed election of a new prosecutor general.
Former President Alvaro Uribe proposed three candidates for this function more than a year ago, but the court so far has failed to elect a successor to Mario Iguaran, who resigned in July 2009.
Relations between the presidency and the high courts had been hostile ever since the Supreme Court started investigating links between politicians – mostly allies of Uribe – and paramilitary death squads. Supreme Court magistrates were spied on by state intelligence agency DAS, and Uribe on numerous occasions accused the court of bias and links to organized crime.