Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has criticized the decision of the current government to attempt to remove military court jurisdiction in the investigation of military human rights abuses.
Railing against the decision in a series of messages on his official Twitter account, Uribe declared that the protection of human rights is better served “with the military stimulated, not stigmatized.”
Uribe’s comments follow a government announcement Saturday that they will request Congress withdraw a proposed amendment to the 1991 Constitution, which would give military courts initial control of investigations in to alleged human rights abuses by the military.
Defending military courts, Uribe declared, “Prosecutors and judges of military criminal justice have all of the moral and professional authority [of their civilian counterparts].”
According to Colombian news website Vanguardia, the government request was made based on an apparent discrepancy, which leaves the position of the police undefined.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said, “The problem is with the police, which was curiously absent from the Constitution of ’91, leaving them in a kind of limbo. It [the 1991 constitution] speaks of military courts, but the police is not the military.”
Santos indicated that once the article is removed from the Justice Reform Act, the next step would be to present a new draft constitutional reform to establish a military court.