|Ex-Controlora Sandra Morelli, now in Italy, is the most |
recent Colombian high official to flee to escape
As minister of agriculture, his job included implementing a law providing subsidies to small landowners.
As director of the DAS, Colombia's FBI, her job was to investigate and expose lawbreakers.
However, when each of these high officials faced legal charges themselves, they decided that Colombian law shouldn't apply to them, and fled the country.
|Ex-agriculture minister Andres Felipe Arias is |
seeking asylum in the U.S.
María del Pilar Hurtado, director of the Administrative Security Department (DAS) under Pres.
Alvaro Uribe, allegedly helped Uribe spy on his political opponents, including Supreme Court magistrates and reporters. After the scandal, which many compared to Watergate, the DAS was liquidated and replaced. Hurtado fled to Panama, where she is fighting extradition. And Uribe was recently elected to Congress.
|Ex-peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo fled to |
Canada, where he recently obtained asylum.
|Ex-DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado fled to Panama, |
where she is fighting extradition.
All four officials claim that Colombia's justice system is unfair or biased. That may be true - but
which nation's system is not to some degree. And, by living in a nation, and particularly by serving in government, a person implicitly agrees to play by their nation's rules. Picking and choosing when to respect the legal system is fundamentally unfair, since this option is not open to poor people.
You can't - or shouldn't be able - to pick and choose your laws.
The pattern of Colombian high officials fleeing the country to escape prosecution is also extremely damaging to Colombian society, since it creates a privileged class above the law and then everybody else, who have to submit themselves to an inefficient, often corrupt legal system. It thus degrades respect for the law and makes a mockery of the legal system which these once high officials once were supposed to uphold.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours