Uribe resigned after the Supreme Court called him for an investigation. It is believed that his resignation is a move of his defense to avoid the investigation
On July 24, the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia, in an unprecedented measure, decided to call the ex-president and now senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez into question. The charges for which this call was made correspond to an investigation into procedural fraud in allegedly convincing witnesses to retract accusations against him. Former President Uribe, through his Twitter account, announced his resignation, which caused chaos in national politics.
The Supreme Court calls me to question, they did not hear me previously, I feel morally impeded to be a senator, I will send my resignation letter so that my defense does not interfere with the tasks of the Senate- Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) July 24, 2018
The investigation against Uribe
At the beginning of 2018, a complaint was filed against the also senator Iván Cepeda and who is one of the strongest opponents of the former president. The complaint said that Cepeda had made a plot with false witnesses to involve the former president for the creation of paramilitary groups. However, the Supreme Court of Justice, which has the power to investigate congressional representatives, took a surprise turn to close the case against Cepeda and open one against Uribe Vélez.
In its communication of July 24, the Supreme Court affirmed that Uribe, from the Democratic Center party, will be called to an inquiry to answer for "the crimes of bribery and procedural fraud" allegedly committed after February 16, 2018. The legislator of the same party, Álvaro Prada, is also mentioned for the same crimes.
The Court in the press statement stated that "people close to former President Uribe would have undertaken new acts of manipulation of witnesses," after the court ordered the investigator to investigate the former president.
The resignation: a move of his defense
From the announcement of the resignation to his seat, people are debating if the decision was a move of the former president to evade the Supreme Court of Justice and be investigated by the Attorney General's Office. However, that unexpected course remains in the hands of the Supreme Court, which must define whether the former president will continue to be investigated, stating whether the alleged illegal actions were committed in his role as senator.
So far, the lawyer of former president, Jaime Lombana, in dialogue with AFP, said that the former president is willing to clarify their situation before the Supreme Court. "The competition is still in the hands of the Supreme Court, regardless of the resignation of the Senate and will simply follow the investigation." Another of Uribe's lawyers, Jaime Granados, also assured that "we will continue as always, that everything be investigated with speed. He has never shied away from justice, he is most interested in everything being clarified as soon as possible."
The political scientist, Jorge Galindo, said in his Twitter account that "... in the past, the Court has decided to maintain cases of gauged that have resigned (ex: parapolítica) if the case is related to its activity", making reference to Uribe's performance in his function as a congressman is proven, the Court will be in charge of the investigation.
If the judicial strategy after Uribe's decision to renounce the Senate is to take the case of the CSJ, it is not clear that it works: in the past, the Court has decided to maintain cases of gauged that have resigned (ex: parapolitics) if the case maintains relationship with its activity. pic.twitter.com/gM7fVOdhxB- Jorge Galindo (@JorgeGalindo) July 24, 2018
For the manager of the firm Estrategia y Poder SAS, Carlos Arias, nothing unusual will happen in politics. "Uribe has a very large political capital: all those who have voted for him and will continue to see his resignation as something magnanimous, honest and transparent," he told the newspaper El Tiempo. However, both his political supporters and the opposition have rectified their positions, a fact that manifests itself in the reactions.
One of the first to speak was former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, who assured that the former president resigned to avoid the investigation. Ciro Ramírez, Senator of the Democratic Center assured that with the resignation of Uribe the heart of the bench is lost.
The resignation of Alvaro Uribe to the Senate is to evade investigation. The son of the butler of the hacienda Guacharacas, Juan Monsalve, accuses him of murder and, trying to change the statement, Uribe criminally manipulated witnesses.- Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) July 24, 2018
Regarding the Curib de Uribe, the ex-deputy of Cundinamarca, Yenny Rozo Zambrano, will be the one who does not occupy the seat. Rozo holds a position similar to that of Uribe regarding the presence of the FARC in the congress.
LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “La renuncia del Senador Álvaro Uribe: ¿Impedimento moral o jugada maestra?”