Colombia’s interior and justice minister on Thursday denied accusations by the Supreme Court that the government is insufficiently protecting magistrates and former magistrates.
According to a press release on the ministry’s website, former Supreme Court magistrates Cesar Julio Valencia Copete and Yesid Ramirez, who received death threats after having resigned from the court, “can count on protection and security measures, made up of 12 permanent bodyguards for each of them.”
“Since September 29, when they resigned, we created a protection scheme that consists of an armored car for both of them, an escorting car,” and additional escorting motor police, the press release said.
Minister Vargas Lleras said he was surprised by the court’s complaint and that he had not received a complaint from either of the judges.
“Until now, I have not received one complaint, only expressions of gratitude towards the government for the effort it is making in granting these extraordinary protection measures,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Vargas Lleras says he will talk to former Judge Ivan Velasquez about his concerns that his escorts may be spying on him and his complaint that DAS director Felipe Muñoz is still in place despite allegations he was involved in the destruction of evidence of illegal activities by his agency.
The former judges on Wednesday met with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to complain about what they consider to be insufficient security measures.