President of the Colombian Supreme Court Jaime Arrubla Paucar denied Tuesday that he and his fellow judges have received government money for increased security detail, despite Minister of the Interior and Justice Fabio Valencia’s words to the contrary last week.
Valencia said Friday that the Supreme Court had received COP7,000 million pesos to tighten security for the judges after a significant amount of threats and harrassment against them, especially through e-mail.
“Our security is the same, and not a single peso has arrived to the court,” Arrubla protested. “We will have to send out a search party to find the resources that the government says it has budgeted for us.”
The court’s president added that he will soon meet with the Interinstitutional Commission of the Judicial Branch to find out where those promised resources are.
The judge’s words came after a meeting of some members of the court with outgoing Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, who expressed his admiration for the magistrates doing their work in the face of besiegement from organized crime in Colombia.
Recently, the UN’s High Commissioner of Human Rights said that independence of Colombia’s judicial branch was under attack in the form of verbal threats from the executive branch, and that the government had made a commitment to guarantee judicial security.