The president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Gerson Chaverra, condemned this Thursday in harsh terms the “violent and illegal blockade” of pro-government protesters at the Palace of Justice, located in the center of Bogotá, an act that he considered “unacceptable.”

“The Supreme Court of Justice emphatically rejects the siege of the last hours on the courthouse of the capital of the republic, a situation that, in addition to seriously affecting the right to freedom of movement, puts at serious risk the life and physical integrity of judges, employees, journalists and other occupants of the main judicial headquarters of the country,” said the magistrate in a statement.

LOOK: Petro orders the Police to restore order in the Palace of Justice amid protests

Chaverra added: “The Supreme Court of Justice requires the national government to provide the necessary guarantees so that the exercise of powers of this corporation and the other Colombian judges can develop without pressure, harassment or threats.”

Protesters clash with riot police officers during a demonstration in support of Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogotá on February 8, 2024. (Photo by Daniel Muñoz / AFP).

/ DANIEL MUNOZ

Problems over the election of the prosecutor

The incidents began after the Supreme Court reported that it could not elect the new attorney general this Thursday, who will replace the current owner, Francisco Barbosawho ends his term next Monday and has a bitter confrontation with the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, who accuses him of orchestrating a “coup d’état” to remove him from power.

According to Chaverraafter two rounds of voting None of the three candidates proposed by Petro reached the qualified majority of 16 votes to be appointed attorney general by that court, made up of 23 judges.

Immediately a group of protesters who were in the Bolivar plaza to protest against Prosecutor Barbosa, childhood friend of former President Iván Duque (2018-2022), who ordered him to be elected, and to demand from the Supreme Court the election of her successor, They surrounded the Palace of Justice to express their rejection of the delay in the election of the next head of the accusing body and prevented the magistrates from leaving.

After a call from Petro to calm, the Police restored order and evacuated the Supreme Court officials who remained in the building.

In his statement, the president of the Supreme Court remembered that This court “defends and guarantees the legitimate right to peaceful protest.” and the divergence of citizen and institutional positions on public affairs of the nation.”

“However, condemns on this occasion the violent and illegal blockade to which our House of Justice is subjected“It is unacceptable that judges whose independence, autonomy and impartiality must be promoted and promoted both by society and by the public powers of the State,” he stated.

Chaverra added that “Democracy is left in suspense when any sector or actor in a country attempts to pressure politically, physically or morally decisions of Justice” and emphasized that “in a State of law like the Colombian one, the judicial function is only subject to the rule of law.”

Rejection of the Constitutional Court

To the rejection of the blockade of courthouse the president of the Constitutional courtDiana Fajardo Rivera, who demanded “vehemently respect for the independence of the Supreme Court of Justice, as well as for the integrity of its members,” while deploring “the attacks, violence and insults” that, he said, only delay decision-making.

“The Constitutional Court makes a concerned call for common sense and calm,” said Fajardo, who highlighted “the legitimacy of free citizen mobilization, as a genuine expression of their demands and desires.”

However, he demanded “that the institutions of Justice not be blocked, pressured or intimidated” because judges, at all levels, require time and conditions to deliberate and make decisions, such as in this case the election of the new prosecutor. .



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