The Colombian government used “threats, blackmail, and state terrorism” to intimidate Constitutional Court judges who were against the 2006 presidential re-election of Alvaro Uribe, Polo Democratico senator and presidential candidate Gustavo Petro said Tuesday.
In a debate about the illegal wiretapping of journalists, politicians, human rights workers and magistrates by intelligence agency DAS, Petro alleged that judges had been followed in order to find out who was in favor or opposed to the re-election.
After government security agency DAS found out which judges were against the re-election, a campaign would start to intimidate these judges into approving the measure, Petro said.
According to the candidate, a bomb threat at the high school of a judge’s daughter, which necessitated the evacuation of the whole school, was part of a strategy to intimidate the judge.
Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio denied Petro’s charges, saying that Uribe’s government always respected the will and the vote of the judges of the Constitutional Court.
Valencia denied that Uribe ever gave an order to wiretap anyone, and that “truths are becoming half-truths, and ending up as lies,” in discussions about the matter.