Alvaro Uribe released but not out of business

Alvaro Uribe released but not out of business

The message

The message “I support Uribe” is displayed on a windshield during a mobilization of supporters of the former Colobian president, in Medellin on Saturday.

The former Colombian president had resigned from his post as senator to be tried more quickly. The figure of the Colombian hard right is implicated in various cases, including a massacre committed by paramilitaries in 1997.

The strategy of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) paid off: just over two months after being under house arrest by the Supreme Court of Justice in a case of false testimony involving paramilitaries, the former strongman of the country, 68, was released on Saturday by a court in Bogotá. The leader of the Colombian hard right and current mentor of President Ivan Duque had not hesitated to resign on August 18 from his post as senator so that his case could be handed over to ordinary justice, which he knew to be more favorable to him. His first tweet, drawn at the end of the virtual audience that all Colombians could follow live, speaks for itself: “Thank God.” While Donald Trump, who has already introduced Colombia several times in his electoral campaign, on the same social network very quickly congratulated this “hero” and “Ally in the fight against Castrochavism”, the eternal foil for the Latin American right.

“A Murdered Uribe”

The news was so predictable that most opposition voices calmly called for respect for the court ruling, while supporters of Alvaro Uribe rather quietly rejoiced in a country deemed so polarized, happy that their leader could now to defend oneself “freely”. Because the judge who canceled the pre-trial detention of Alvaro Uribe also clearly stated that she was not questioning the merits of the case for which the Supreme Court had decided his house arrest. And the investigations of justice will therefore continue.

As columnist Daniel Samper Ospina summarized, “It is a bruised Uribe who regains freedom, he had to resign from the Senate to escape the trial, became the first ex-president to be arrested and saw with his own eyes that the country did not stop for all that , and that the sun continued to shine. Not much to celebrate ”. The days of Uribe’s omnipresence seem to be over.

The former president seemed untouchable

Dozens of complaints – for insults, corruption, wiretapping, support for paramilitary groups – against the former president have been lodged in recent years before various judicial bodies. Most are still at the preliminary investigation stage. One relates in particular to the massacre committed by the paramilitaries in the village of Aro in 1997, when Alvaro Uribe was governor of the Antioquia region and another the assassination of human rights defender Jesús Maria Valle in 1998.

The case, which had earned his pretrial detention on August 4 and then had the effect of a political bomb, so much until then the former president seemed untouchable, had even seemed minimal in comparison since it was not a question of ” that ”of an attempt to manipulate a key witness in his links with paramilitary groups. The release of Alvaro Uribe, the main critic of the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the former Farc guerrillas, however, comes in an electric climate in Colombia and could fuel polarization. The assassinations of human rights defenders have not stopped, the massacres have increased since the beginning of the year in regions where armed groups linked to the mafias are vying for control of territories where the State has not worked to apply the law. ‘peace agreement.


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