Not Uribe immunity

The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes, MOVICE, has learned through mediums of communication, that on two occasions, without consulting the victims, President Juan Manuel Santos has addressed your government, petitioning that immunity be granted to the former president of the Republic of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, so that he does not testify in the ongoing proceedings against the company Drummond, which is involved in a judicial process in the United States for violations of human rights with illegal armed groups.

December 10, 2010

Mr. Harold Hongju Koh

Office of the Legal Adviser

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Koh,

Kind regards on this Universal Day of Human Rights.

President Santos has made this petition claiming his position as head of state. According to the laws of the United States, this condition only applies to the president of a country, which is not the case regarding Alvaro Uribe Velez, who in addition, currently holds no official position.

To extend immunity in this case would be to contradict the laws of the United States, and would create an unfortunate precedent against the guarantee of the right to truth and justice with respect to crimes that involve the responsibility of the State and American multinational companies in violation of human rights.

The eight years of former president Álvaro Uribe’s administration were characterized by grave scandals related to grave human rights violations and corruption. During his administration, illegal intelligence activities were carried out by the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), hundreds of executions of innocent civilians were committed and presented as combatant deaths, and public funds were allocated in favor of government interests and at the expense of the rights of victims and displaced persons, such as payments and sinecures to guarantee his reelection, as different publications such as The Economist have reported.

For MOVICE, the information that former president Uribe Vélez can provide to the U.S. authorities with respect to Drummond’s financing of illegal groups, paramilitary operations, and human rights violations are of major importance in the fight against impunity, the strengthening of democracy, and the construction of Rule of Law in Colombia.

We hope you understand our request.


El Movimiento Nacional de Victimas de Crímenes de Estado
The National Movement of Victims of State Crimes

cc: Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., Department of Justice