Former President Alvaro Uribe and a member of the Catholic church have exchanged criticisms of one another over the proposed march against the Prosecutor General for her handling of the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) scandal investigation.
The now cancelled march was originally due to take place on May 4 outside of the Office of the Prosecutor General in order to, as Uribe stated via his Twitter account, “protest the injustice in the AIS case.”
Bishop Ruben Salazar commented in reference to Uribe’s tweet by stating, “It is an opinion of ex-President Uribe but we, as citizens, must follow what justice says and when justice has found significant merit to take an official to prison, one must respect what justice says,” RCN Radio reported.
Uribe immediately issued an angry response, again via Twitter, with the message, “His Eminence Ruben Salazar should proceed as a bishop and not by political passion or disinformation.”
According to El Pais, though the march never sought to “defend political affiliations, or defend any government policies,” as a statement from the organizing group read, it was interpreted as being precisely that with criticism coming from across the political spectrum, thus ending in the event’s cancellation.
The scandal in question refers to the agricultural subsidy scandal under the AIS which took place during the Uribe era, coming to light in 2009. Many former officials from the Ministry of Agriculture are currently under investigation for the alleged misallocation of funds intended for poor farmers that ultimately ended up in the hands of wealthy land and business owners.