The Attorney General’s Office Should Proceed Quickly and Decisively
(Colombia) (Autor: CCAJAR)

Lunes 25 de junio de 2007, por Prensa - Colectivo

The Attorney General of Colombia, Mario Iguarán Arana, had the legal obligation of issuing a pronouncement on the case of Jorge Noguera by June 15, 2007. According to reliable sources of information, an arrest warrant waits on his desk that will determine the legal status of Jorge Noguera Cotes, former director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) [1] and former consul in Milan.

As regards the case of the former Director of the DAS Jorge Noguera Cotes

The Attorney General’s Office Should Proceed Quickly and Decisively

José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective
Corporación Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo”
June 20, 2007
Bogotá, Colombia

The Attorney General of Colombia, Mario Iguarán Arana, had the legal obligation of issuing a pronouncement on the case of Jorge Noguera by June 15, 2007. According to reliable sources of information, an arrest warrant waits on his desk that will determine the legal status of Jorge Noguera Cotes, former director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) [1] and former consul in Milan.

Nevertheless, up to now, Attorney General Iguarán has yet to make a statement, which cannot help but spread doubt as to what can be expected to occur. One way or another this would reveal how from within the very institutions in charge of administering justice all kinds of distractions and erroneous arguments are employed in order to exhaust processes, guarantee impunity, force the victims into silence, and guarantee a profitable political or administrative career for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.

Likewise, despite having the unrestricted support of the president who appointed him DAS senior chief and then to a diplomatic post, the Colombian system of justice cannot underestimate the gravity of the accusations lodged against Jorge Noguera.

After so many leaks to the different mass media outlets, it has become common knowledge that these processes being carried out by the Attorney General’s Office against the former DAS director demonstrate how paramilitarism and corruption infiltrated this agency. Furthermore, in addition to being lengthy files, these processes illustrate how the institution ignored fundamental rights, violated constitutional guarantees, and encouraged State-sponsored crime.

Jorge Noguera is presently implicated in several criminal investigations, which is of public knowledge. It is also known that he was detained and then subsequently released. (But not due to lack of evidence, rather to a supposed jurisdictional error due to the constitutional privileges protecting him as former DAS director.) Nonetheless, the investigations against him remain open and concern the commission of grave crimes. He has not only been implicated in carrying out a well proven electoral fraud along the Colombian Caribbean coast (which in and of itself is of course grave and questions the very legitimacy of the current presidential administration), but he is also accused of administrative corruption in several multimillion-dollar contracts, of having put the principal intelligence agency to the service of the mafia and criminal gangs, of having participated in carrying out a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government (including the murder of Venezuelan state prosecutor Danilo Anderson), and -most grave of all- of supporting paramilitary groups (including at least turning list over to these groups with the names of unionists and leftwing leaders so they would be murdered, which indeed was what occurred to a good number of them).

The case of Noguera is not just another case or an act repeated as a part of a long record of crimes implicating the DAS’s conduct. The case concerning Jorge Noguera Cotes conclusively proves that in Colombia power has been used to attack and disregard the rights of the weakest members of society. It is also the leading evidence of a sinister process reaching its climax, when the worst crimes -massacres, forced disappearances, forced displacement, political persecution, the dismembering of living human beings, and the sowing of generalized terror- had been legitimized, permitted, tolerated, and employed by State institutions as a political weapon. Bearing in mind the DAS is responsible for the protection programs for social leaders, unionists, and journalists, this becomes even more grave.

It is completely unacceptable that Jorge Noguera is still at liberty. The Colombian justice system must determine the validity of the denunciations and grave claims made by several former DAS officials turned prosecution witnesses. If it fails to do so, these accusations will be diluted by out-of-date excuses and shameful legal arguments meant to keep Noguera from being duly processed and punished.

Considering the current political crisis in Colombia, the case against the former DAS director is of vital importance for Colombia. Since we have reached a point of exhaustion and extreme skepticism, historically, politically and socially we as Colombians need to know the real truth concerning all acts of national relevance committed, which have been constantly manipulated, concealed, or given an erroneous treatment so as to distort and falsify our country’s historical memory.

Thus, nationally and internationally we must demand the Attorney General’s Office to act quickly and decisively so as to avoid impunity and guarantee the truth to the victims, society, and the whole of humanity.

It should be stressed that such international organizations as the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the International Center for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), and the Taula Catalan Organization for Peace and Human Rights in Colombia, have made pronouncements concerning this case, requesting the Attorney General’s Office to be quick and effective in the handling of this case.

1 The Administrative Department of Security or DAS is the principal intelligence agency in Colombia and also functions as the secret police. The DAS undertakes strategic intelligence, criminal investigation, migratory control, and the protection of senior leaders and persons under threat (including human rights defenders, social leaders, unionists, and journalists).

Afiliaciones

Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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