Colombia: The FIDH is concerned about the flight risk of Bernardo Moreno

Press release
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Paris, Bogota, 28 February 2015.- FIDH and its member organisation in Colombia, the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR), are satisfied with the decision of the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice today in convicting María del Pilar Hurtado, the former Director of Colombia’s DAS (Administrative Department of Security), on charges of ideological misrepresentation in a public document, conspiracy to commit crime, embezzlement through misappropriation, illegal breach of communications, and abuse of public office. The Court found Hurtado guilty of the five crimes of which she was accused.

It also convicted the former Secretary to the President, Bernardo Moreno, for conspiracy to commit crime, illegal breach of communications, and abuse of public office.
The length of the sentences and sanctions will be decided next Thursday, 5 March. The FIDH and the CAJAR nevertheless wish to demonstrate their concern over the fact that no order has been given to detain Moreno despite the fact that bail is not authorised for the crimes for which he has been found guilty. This lack of detention affords Moreno the opportunity to flee, as have other members of Uribe Vélez’s government who remain fugitives from justice abroad.

"We hope that this conviction will set an example in the region and discourage any decision-makers and those in a position of power who intend to unlawfully pursue and persecute civilians," announced Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

In recent years, the FIDH and the CAJAR have documented the illegal activities of the DAS. We have also carried out various campaigns in Panama seeking the detention and extradition of the former Director of the DAS, and taking part in various legal proceedings relating to these activities.

"We hope that Hurtado does not take on the full responsibility for these criminal activities in which she found herself involved and instead tells the truth, so that the principal parties responsible are sanctioned," stated Luis Guillermo Pérez, CAJAR President and Permanent Representative of the FIDH before the Organization of American States (OAS). He also showed his disapproval of the fact that very serious acts such as the "Job" and "Tasmania" cases have not been assessed by the Supreme Court of Justice.

"The FIDH and the CAJAR will continue to demand the investigation of, and imposition of sanctions on, those who promote this behaviour, from the very highest levels of government, so that they respect the fundamental aspects of democracy and the rule of law, and so that they make full reparations to the victims," added representatives of both organisations.

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