Uribe seeks to conceal his responsibility in paramilitarism

We are again compelled to reject former President Alvaro Uribe’s statements against Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, member of the Ethics Commission for Truth in Colombia.

The Ethics Commission for Truth in Colombia

As members of the Ethics Commission for Truth that accompanies the Movement of Victims of State Crimes, we strongly reject former President Alvaro Uribe Velez’ unfounded allegations.

Yesterday, Monday February 21st, the ex-president questioned our colleague’s ethical reputation via Twitter, accusing him as well as others: “Why does Pérez Esquivel do the FARC’s errands?”, “Pérez Esquivel, Nobel slanderer in service of Colombian terrorists” and “Pérez Esquivel: You are a Nobel Peace Prize winner?”

At the “Making Peace in Colombia” conference in Buenos Aires our friend and colleague stated that the obstacles to advancing towards peace include impunity for crimes against humanity and the paramilitary situation that continue to exist as well as United States’ responsibility. He also referred to Uribe’s responsibilities with the paramilitaries and the factors needed to build a peace dialogue.

The former president labelled Pérez Esquivel a “useful idiot” in June 2010 and said that he does errands for the FARC ago and Uribe is now continuing this slander claiming that he is serving Colombian terrorists.

We endorse Adolfo Pérez Esquivel’s claims based on evidence and witness and victim testimonies, some of which we know are currently in process in Colombia and in other international tribunals. The Ethics Commission member’s statements are handled along with the testimonies and evidence we have received over 10 visits to the country and in two sessions with people in exile.

Uribe’s reaction offends an ethical consciousness and conceals his responsibility in crimes against humanity, crimes that protect national and international economic benefactors that continue to support Uribe.

We support the need for political dialogue in which the Juan Manuel Santos Administration should open itself up to manifestations of the FARC-EP and ELN guerrilla forces as well as broad sectors of civil society, including Colombians for Peace.

Bogotá, 22 of February 2011

Bernardine Dohrn, University Northwest of Chicago, professor and lawyer on international law and child rights, United States

Carlos Fazio, investigator and professor at UNAM; journalist, México

Ethics Commission against Torture in Chile; Santiago – Valparaiso – San Antonio – San Felipe – Temuco, Chile

Christian Community of Saint Thomas, Madrid, Spain

Coordinator of former Political Prisoners of Chile, Enrique Nuñez, National Counselor of the National Human Rights Institute, Chile

Eduard Nachmann, teacher, son of disappeared; Carlos Alberto Rice, members of H.I.J.O.S. in Buenos Aires City, Argentina

Enrique Santiago, lawyer, Institute of Political Studies for Latin America and Africa, Spain

French Latin America Association, France

Gilberto Rivas y López, anthropologist, professor at the Anthropology and History Institute, Mexico

Landless Movement (MST), Brazil

Libertad Sánchez, Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Merida and Comarca, Spain

Lorenzo Loncon; werken comunidad mapuche newen mapa, Mapuche Nation

Mary Bricker-Jenkins, PhD, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, United States

Mirta Acuña de Baravalle; Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo – Línea Fundadora, Argentina

Miguel Álvarez, president of Serapaz, Mexico

Rainer Huhle, Human Rights Center of Nuremberg, Germany

Rick Ufford Chase; Executive Director of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, United States

School of the Americas Watch (SOA WATCH), Elizabeth Deligio, Charity Ryerson, United States

Stephen Haymes, De Paul University, United States

Tica Font Gregori, Director of the Catalan International Institute for Peace; Ethical Commission, Spain

World Council of Churches, Sean Hawkey, Geneva, Switzerland