Former President Pastrana: Petro seeks to establish the crime of opinion in Colombia

BOGOTA. The former president of Colombia Andrés Pastrana rejected and condemned the actions taken by President Gustavo Petro against him, for which the president criminally denounced him for comments he made on the social network X, formerly Twitter, regarding his Government.

In a letter addressed to the Attorney General of the Nation, Francisco Barbosa, Pastrana pointed out that Petro’s complaint is “an action by the head of State openly contrary to the Constitution that he swore to defend, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and the American Convention on Human Rights, of which Colombia is a party”.

“With this act, the president seeks to institute in Colombia the ‘crime of opinion’ and with his criminal complaint for expressing an opinion, he puts at risk the most fundamental rights on which democracy is based,” Pastrana added.

The former president also pointed out that criminally attacking freedom of expression and thought is a clear violation of human rights by those who are obliged to protect them.

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“I believe in the impartiality of this prosecutor’s office and in the professionalism of the prosecutors and I know that the protection of human rights is a fundamental part of that judicial entity. That is why, Mr. Prosecutor, I express to you my full and total willingness to attend before that entity, to carry out the conciliation hearing, the first step in this type of complaints. To this end, in a respectful manner, I would like to suggest that the complainant’s time availability be taken into account, so that he can attend personally, as provided by law,” Pastrana requested in the letter to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Duque expresses solidarity with Pastrana

For his part, the former president of Colombia Iván Duque expressed solidarity with Pastrana and described President Petro as persecution and intimidation against him.

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“What the government has carried out against former President Andrés Pastrana is persecution and intimidation, due to his opposition positions. This could be the prelude to a dangerous system of repression that they wish to institutionalize to silence the free opinion of citizens,” he wrote. Duque on his social network account X, formerly Twitter.

Pastrana’s case has generated a debate in Colombia about freedom of expression and the right to opposition. Some analysts have pointed out that Petro’s complaint could be a sign that the Government is seeking to repress the opposition.

Petro: Pastrana’s accusations are false

It should be remembered that the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, formalized a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office for alleged insults and slander against former president Andrés Pastrana, in response to accusations in which he alluded to alleged links with drug trafficking. “Rights are not a dead letter on paper, they are living commitments that must be protected and promoted by everyone,” said the president.

He added that: “questioning my integrity or that of my government without solid bases is, in my opinion, an attack on democracy. These doubts and attacks are usually a reflection of the political persecutions that I have faced all my life, and I am ready to face them once again and as many times as necessary,” stressed the Colombian president.

He denied Pastrana by pointing out that “The accusations do not reflect in the slightest the reality of my administration and the principles that guide it; Therefore, these accusations constitute insult and slander,” he maintained.

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