Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos met with Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon Friday morning to discuss how the magistrate could collaborate with the incoming government on legal and human rights issues, EFE reports.
“We are looking at ways in which he could help us in many different areas,” Santos said, opening the door to a possible advisory role for the judge, following a meeting at the Colombian Embassy in Madrid.
Santos, who said on Thursday that Garzon “has been very positive in helping the government” legitimize its controversial Justice and Peace process, which was put in place to demobilize paramilitary coalition the AUC, also noted his “longtime friendship” with the Spanish judge, who gained international notoriety after ordering the 1998 detention of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Santos, who is wrapping up his European tour in Spain, also met with Felipe Gonzalez, the former head of the Spanish government, and Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) party.
Santos highlighted his “good relation” with the PP, and thanked them for “helping [Colombia] tremendously in Spain and the European Union with the free trade agreement,” between his country and the E.U., explaining that the PP “played an important role in the passing of the agreement.”
Santos plans to return to Colombia on Saturday, and will be sworn into office on August 7.