The Minister of Defense of Colombia, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, defended the legality of his actions and those of the public force, in a debate on a motion of censure cited by the opposition in the House of Representatives where they asked for his resignation due to police violence and for allegedly failing to comply with judgments.
The Supreme Court of Justice recognized last September that the intervention of the public force in the demonstrations it is “systematic, violent, arbitrary and disproportionate”, for which reason it ordered the Government to adopt measures to “guarantee the exercise of the right to peaceful protest.”
In a 170-page ruling, the high court also ordered the head of the Defense portfolio to apologize “for the excesses registered since the mobilization of November 21, 2019 “.
“The providence contains several orders that are being fulfilled. It contains several orders for the Ministry of Defence, which were fulfilled; it contains orders for the president of the republic, which are being carried out within the indicated terms, “Trujillo said in a vehement tone in the debate that lasted more than seven hours in the Elliptical Hall of Congress.
The vote on the motion of censure will be held on the 13th, just when Trujillo is cited in the Senate for another debate with the same purpose.
In the upper house, mostly opposition senators considered the minister “politically responsible” of the management given to the protests, of police brutality, of violating the Constitution and not respecting rulings such as that of the Supreme Court.
Abuses of authority
The matches that today “they asked for the head” of Trujillo were those of the opposition: Alianza Verde, FARC, Decentes, and the Democratic Pole, while the support came from the Democratic Center (in the Government), the U Party, sectors of Radical Change and the Conservative.
The first darts against the minister were those of Ángela María Robledo (Colombia Humana), who assured that the motion of censure was against “a man who we consider unworthy of having the investiture. You have not assumed the responsibility to contribute to avoiding the abuse of authority“, Told him.
The Army, the Police and the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) are in the eye of the hurricane in Colombia for the death of Javier Ordóñez, 46, who occurred on September 9 due to police brutality.
Added to this, two weeks later, the murder of Juliana Giraldo, a transsexual who was in a car shot by an Army soldier in the vicinity of Miranda, in the department of Cauca (southwest).
To the accusations, Robledo was joined by Inti Asprilla (Green Party), who said he did not understand how a person who was part of the National Constituent Assembly process “tramples the Constitution in that way”.
Trujillo was a member of the body of 70 constituents who drafted the 1991 Magna Carta that governs the country and which replaced the 1886 Constitution. Asprilla also regretted that Trujillo had not asked for forgiveness as required by the Supreme Court ruling because that would show that “sincerely regrets murders committed by public force“.
In this regard, the minister was emphatic in saying: “I asked for forgiveness”, and explained that this act was “a product of the depths of my conscience, it was spontaneous because no one ordered it, I did it convinced that I had to do it in light of the circumstances (…) and without mentioning names” because He added, it is not his responsibility to “acquit” or “convict anyone” but justice.
“Is it that a spontaneous forgiveness is less than an obligatory one? Or is it that a spontaneous and prior forgiveness has no greater value?”, Declared the minister and then added: “The forgiveness that was requested was much broader and more comprehensive “, when referring to compliance with the order of the Court.
The death of Dilan Cruz
He also mourned the death of the student Dilan Cruz, 18 years old, who died on November 25, 2019 in a Bogotá hospital after being seriously injured in the head by a shotgun blast from an Esmad agent during protests against the Government.
“Dilan’s death was a tragedy, that boy should not have met death in those circumstances,” Trujillo said in the debate, who nevertheless stated that “Legal Medicine was wrong to classify the death of Dilan Cruz as homicide“.
Just minutes after that statement, Congresswoman Robledo responded on social networks and assured that “Dilan Cruz did not ‘find death’ as you just said in Congress, to him he was killed by Esmad“.
Congressman Juan Carlos Losada, of the Liberal Party, recalled that according to the United Nations this year in the country there have been perpetrated 55 massacres42 of them confirmed and 13 in the process of verification, so that the upsurge in violence is “a failure” of the government that was elected under the banner of security.
“You failed to adopt the correctives in the military operation and thus prevent the actions of the uniformed men from becoming facts that openly violate human rights in Colombia, “he said.
Accuse drug trafficking
In this regard, Trujillo affirmed that the government works to prevent “massacres,” he told drug trafficking as the main cause of these crimes and said that for that reason the administration of President Iván Duque uses all legal means to combat this crime.
Faced with the Court’s requirement that the Police and Army stop using the 12-gauge shotgun, such as the one that killed Cruz, the minister assured that it has been carried out and that these are already stored in the armory of both forces “until further notice.”