A strong statement was issued this Friday by the Supreme Court of Justice regarding the government’s position regarding the serious events that took place on Thursday at the Palace of Justice, in the center of Bogotá, where magistrates and workers were besieged inside for five hours.
“The Supreme Court of Justice requires the National Government to provide the necessary guarantees so that the exercise of the powers of this corporation and other Colombian judges may not result in pressure, harassment, or threats,” the high court warned.
Ante versiones públicas dirigidas a minimizar la gravedad de los hechos registrados el jueves en los contornos del Palacio de Justicia, la @CorteSupremaJ ratifica la magnitud de lo ocurrido, descrita en el comunicado emitido con ocasión del bloqueo a su sede judicial. Ver: pic.twitter.com/BAOPH4uR8s
— Corte Suprema de Justicia (@CorteSupremaJ) February 9, 2024
In a statement, the Supreme Court completely rejected the siege, obstruction, threats, and intimidation that occurred during the day of the protests and put the integrity of the people inside the Palace in grave danger. With this type of action, the Court emphasized that “democracy will be left in suspense if any sector or actor in a country tries to put political, physical, or moral pressure on judicial decisions.”
“In a rule of law like the Colombian one, the judicial function is subject only to the rule of law. Any conflict or difference must be processed through the statements of the institution outlined in the legal order,” said the high, saying that the court rejects everything that happened, warning that the blocking of the entrance doors “seriously affects the right to freedom of movement.” and other residents of the country’s judicial headquarters.”
The demonstration last Thursday reached the point of maximum tension after the decision to reschedule the vote to elect the new Attorney General of the Nation was known because none of the shortlists had achieved, or were close to, reaching the 16 votes they needed for regulation.
“It is unacceptable that judges whose independence, autonomy, and impartiality should be promoted by society and the public powers of the state are under siege,” said the communication. And several of the protestors insisted that the Court can immediately choose a prosecutor general, while they rejected the fact that deputy prosecutor Marta Mancera will take over as attorney general in charge starting next February 13.
A group of protesters settled in Carrera 8 and Calle 12 strategically in the parking lots, preventing any entry or exit of occasional visitors, officials, and employees of the Judicial Branch, as well as the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Council. of State, the Constitutional Court, the National Commission for Judicial Discipline, and the Superior Council of the Judiciary.
At noon, 20 people tried to enter by assault, attacking the female police officers guarding the entrance to the Carrera 8 parking lot to jump over the improvised security fences that they had to put up to cover the entire building.
At 5 p.m., after a meeting between the director of the National Police, General William Salamanca, and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Esmad’s agents intervened to expel the protesters and allow magistrates, officials, and employees.