The Americas director of NGO Human Rights Watch said Tuesday he is “concerned” about the 15-month delay in Colombia’s election of a new prosecutor general.
Regional director Jose Miguel Vivanco is part of a HRW delegation that is currently in Colombia. The group met with members of the country’s government, social organizations and the United States Ambassador to Bogota on Tuesday, and plan to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos and Vice President Angelino Garzon on Wednesday.
While talking to press, Vivanco said that “of the most important democratic institutions of Colombia, justice, and the role that the Prosecutor General fulfills in Colombia’s justice system, is absolutely central. It is important to name a prosecutor general who complies with the qualities the job demands.”
The Supreme Court, which is in charge of the election of a new prosecutor general, has so far been unable to pick a new appointee from a shortlist made by former President Alvaro Uribe. Several candidates were replaced by Uribe in the process after criticism that the shortlist contained no competent candidate. Current President Juan Manuel Santos has so far refused to alter the list of candidates.
“What matters most to us is that the future prosecutor general is someone with the necessary credentials and an unquestionable record, given the importance and delicacy of the matters that are being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office,” Vivanco said.
According to the HRW executive, his delegation hopes to discuss the matter with Santos.