This is the name of the international campaign, born on 16 August 2000 and led by the civil society groups and individuals to support the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia, which has been the target of attacks at the national and international level as a result of the measure of preventive home detention against former President Alvaro Uribe Velez, who is alleged to have committed crimes of witness tampering and procedural fraud.
The members of the campaign are aware establish alliances of solidarity and activate aid measures for the protection of democracy, the peace agreement and the lives of political and social leaders of the South American country.
The statement reads the following:
“As a response to the pressure from the government of President Ivan Duque, the (far right) Centro Demcrático party and the government of the United States of America, through its Vice President Mike Pence, against the Colombian judicial branch and in taking into account the threat this implies for Colombian democracy, we as civil society decided create the campaign “Let’s defend Colombia: international campaign for the defence of the courts and democracy”.
Our campaign invites people to support the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia, which has been the target of national and international attacks as a result of the measure of preventive home detention against the former president and current Senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who is alleged to have committed crimes of witness tampering and procedural fraud.
The measure was adopted by the criminal chamber of the court in accordance with Article 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which indicates that the measure is indispensable to prevent the obstruction of justice.
It is worth noting that these attacks aim to pressure the Supreme Court on its ruling, violating the principles of judicial sovereignty and the separation of powers, the very foundation of the rule of law.
In this context, the unfounded attacks against the Supreme Court of Justice are exacerbated by an additional factor: Iván Cepeda Castro, a senator from the Polo Democrático Alternativo party and a human rights defender, who was a victim of Uribe Vélez within the the aforementioned judicial process, was forced to denounce before the Attorney General’s Office the recent death threats made against him, his family and his staff. Given the seriousness of the situation, Senator Cepeda Castro also reported this situation to the Inter- American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN.
As Diego García Sayán, former president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and former minister of justice of Peru, expressed on August 15: “There is no rule of law without judicial independence, (…) attacks on the Court are unacceptable, as they argue, without evidence, that the judges would be politically motivated against Uribe or the CD (Centro Democrático)”.
Colombia is in the midst of a serious political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis and is now even at risk of losing its sovereignty, institutionality and democracy.
It is urgent to establish alliances of solidarity and activate aid measures for the protection of democracy, the peace agreement and the life and bodily integrity of our political and social leaders.
Taking action is no longer an option: it is our obligation!
Join our campaign: Let’s Defend Colombia: International Campaign for the Defense of Courts and Democracy. August 16th 2020”.
Contact: LetsDefendColombia@gmail.com and Facebook Campaign Let’s Defend Colombia