The UN expressed concerns Wednesday about threats made against Colombian judicial officials and warned that some were coming from the government and police.
Following a 10-day visit to Colombia, the UN Rapporteur for the independence of the judiciary, Carina Knaul de Albuquerque, announced that judicial authorities had received threats, some of which had come directly from the national government and the police, reported news station Caracol Radio.
Knaul de Albuquerque noted the need for the government to increase security for the officials and lawyers who were being intimidated, as there are currently no guarantees enabling them to exercise their function efficiently and judicial independence was thus being undermined.
“These threats come from all current groups in Colombia. They come from drug traffickers, guerrillas and sometimes … they can be from internal forces of the government and police,” explained the rapporteur.
The UN official also expressed concern regarding Colombia’s lack of a prosecutor general (PG), considering that the temporary status of the current position holder could affect the general development of the body, “especially now that Colombia is searching for truth, justice and reparation through the Justice and Peace process.“
Though the rapporteur did not join the debate regarding who to choose for the position of PG she warned that the person needed to be fit for the job and to give guarantees of independence.
Knaul de Albuquerque also criticised the Justice and Peace process, claiming that despite the fact that it has served to demobilized a large number of people linked to illegal armed groups, the judicial results up till now were fragile.
“Sadly, the Justice and Peace process seems to be progressing with investigations, but the progress is very slow and the tribunal … has not issued a single sentence,”concluded the rapporteur.