Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday defended his predecessor Alvaro Uribe against criticism by scholars who asked Georgetown University to sack Uribe as guest lecturer.
Santos, who was on a visit to the south-west Colombian town of Yumbo, said he rejects the letter signed by “48 pseudo-intellectuals” that asks Georgetown president John DeGoia to remove Uribe and claims that his appointment at Georgetown is “an affront to academics and their educational mission.”
“Here in our country we respect and love President Uribe,” Santos said, stressing that during the two governments of Uribe Colombians rediscovered their “faith in the future.”
The protest letter was signed by more than 80 professors from several universities, including Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Deborah Poole of Johns Hopkins University, and Joseph Gilbert of Yale University.
In the letter, written by Colombian Jesuit Javier Giraldo, Uribe is accused of having “established and protected” military groups that “murdered and disappeared thousands of people.”