(Álvaro Uribe Vélez, April 09, 2016)
When will the victim toll stop soaring?
There will be more victims as long as drug trafficking is tolerated, illegal crops are neither sprayed nor manually eradicated, and there are no programs aimed at providing families with other sources of income in order to protect tropical forests.
There will be more victims, although Farc stop shooting, as long as drug trafficking is considered a political offense exempting offenders from extradition or domestic jail and providing them with eligibility for politics.
There will be more victims as long as assassinating and kidnapping army soldiers and police officers, who represent authorities under Colombian Constitution, are accepted as political offenses without punishment.
There will be more victims as long as those responsible for atrocious crimes are promised a “full stop act” by which the latter will be purportedly investigated, judged, and sentenced, but eventually exempted from jail on condition that they confess and admit crimes, provided that they become eligible for politics. This act will be abrogated or unapplied as it was in other countries.
There will be more victims as long as terrorists are above both the judiciary and the law either by an unanimous decision supporting impunity or by giving terrorists the chance to choose their own judges.
There will be more victims due to the bad example set by the peace talks in Havana and followed by Eln and criminal gangs.
There will be more victims as long as terrorists realize that, by just escalating their criminal acts, they will manage to have the Government invite them to start peace talks which, on no previous condition such as actually stopping committing crimes, make terrorists appear to be social redeemers.
There will be more victims as long as Colombian people are forced by blackmail and land control by terrorists because a trustworthy security policy is not implemented.
There will be more victims as long as the Colombian Armed Forces are demotivated, peered with terrorists, and deprived from a decent legal solution that has nothing to do with that offered to criminals.
There will be more victims as long as citizens who honestly purchase their goods and property and are unfairly forced to return them are joined to the group of the dispossessed of their land.
There will be more victims as long as terrorists meet no opposition of any authority to burning vehicles or dynamiting business stores owned by hard-working people who are the rule in Colombia and have refused to pay blackmail.
There will be more victims because impunity, a midwife of criminals, does not give people assurance that violence will not be repeated.
There will be more victims from rich bloody criminals who do not give up their money to reparate the victims, but use it to continue to commit crimes in a new version of them combined with politics.
There will be more victims as long as ringleaders from some groups are considered political leaders and ringleaders from other groups are not chased under effective military operations that do not require the latter to be considered political actors, but need authorities just to see how crimes are notoriously and systematically committed.
There will be more victims as long as the incumbent Colombian administration, so as not to upset terrorists, refrains from implementing an effective policy aimed at demobilizing young people fooled, which would leave ringleaders all by themselves. This policy should be supplemented by comprehensive and massive actions so that vulnerable young people find opportunities that close the door on them to crime in a desperate situation.
There will be more victims due to decisions based on political views and made by judges who imply impunity for terrorists and look for any excuse or false witness to jail those expressing different views. I am not going to mention anyone from my family. Sorrow is kept silent. I am neither going to mention all my colleagues who are now political prisoners, which is something very strange in Colombian democratic tradition. I would just mention one of them who represent them all: Mr. Alberto Velásquez Echeverri, whose reputation is untarnished. In order to impose a sentence on him, just two evidences were accepted: that given by Ms. Medina and that of Mr. Carlos Gaviria who was never listened to eventually. Ms. Medina's statements were accepted as evidence in spite of the number of lies such as saying that she had seen money bags in the Office of the President of Colombia [during Uribe Administration]. The Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia was never willing to investigate the financial support given to Ms. Medina by drug traffickers who, together with her, revenged themselves on the administration that extradited them. Four judges who heard the trial were elected by other judges who recused themselves and also elected four out of the five associate justices, being one of them Mr. Sampedro, the dean of the School of Law of the Javeriana University. Two of the associate justices were bringing cases to a reporting judge who proposed the condemnation of Mr. Alberto Velazquez Echeverri. Associate justice Mr. William Monroy did not recuse himself in spite of being the attorney of Mr. Daniel Coronell, the journalist who interviewed Ms. Medina to promote the abovementioned misrepresentation. Mr. Álvaro Osorio, a prosecutor, was commissioned assistant judge for one of the judges who ruled the sentence. Mr. Alberto Velásquez Echeverri is sick, is older than 65, and has been denied probation.
There will be more victims as long as foundations of the judiciary, which many of us were taught to reverence decades ago today, are not recovered.