‘Govt not protecting former judges’

Former magistrates of Colombia’s Supreme Court told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that the government continues to carry out illegal surveillance on the court, and has not instituted measures to protect magistrates that were ordered by the commission.

The complaint was made on Wednesday to the IACHR by former judges Cesar Julio Valencia Copete, Maria del Rosario Gonzalez and Ivan Velasquez in a private meeting with Colombian government representatives in Washington.

Several former Supreme Court judges have been the target of death threats and asked for state protection, which has not always been granted.

In an interview with newspaper El Tiempo, Valencia said “there are a number of flaws in security.” He further stated that the government isn’t fulfilling the IACHR’s requirement to provide him with the intelligence files that may exist about him at different government agencies.

Valencia, who is investigating the “parapolitics” scandal, stated that director of DAS, Felipe Muñoz, was allegedly “involved in hiding evidence, yet he is still the director of DAS despite having been the last director under the Uribe administration.”

He also criticized police chief General Oscar Naranjo, who is responsible for the security of people who were granted protective measures. He said “my chief of security could have been one of the police infiltrated by the DAS to follow me, like they have done.”

Although all three judges announced they felt “good will” from the government, they say that this hasn’t yet translated into anything solid.

Gonzalez stated that “Answers are found with facts, but until now there are no facts that bring us peace in our situation of personal security and that of our family.”

“There has been no sign that shows this tragedy is over and we hope it won’t be a major tragedy,” said Velasquez.

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