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El New York Times publicó un editorial el pasado 22 de agosto de 2008 titulado “La Escogencia de Uribe”, en el cual le dice al Presidente Uribe que debe decirle a sus 5 millones de amigos (los que firmaron una petición a la Registraduría) que él no va a buscar un tercer período presidencial, ya que ha mostrado poco respeto por las instituciones de la democracia colombiana, en particular por la Corte Suprema de Justicia. Le atribuye al Presidente la propuesta de quitarle a la Corte la función de investigar a los Congresistas. Dice que el vecindario tiene ya demasiados líderes autoritarios y la región necesita una democracia apuntalada por instituciones fuertes, y no por hombres fuertes, por populares o indispensables que se crean. Aplaude a los sabios votantes venezolanos, quienes no han permitido la reelección indefinida del Presidente Chávez. Insiste en que el Presidente Uribe debe dejar claro y ahora mismo, que no buscará la reelección. De no hacerlo, manchará su legado y debilitará todavía más a la democracia colombiana.
Este editorial no ha generado mayor reacción conocida, salvo la columna de María Isabel Rueda de El Tiempo, de septiembre 1 de 2008, llamada ¡Al carajo con el New York Times! El Editor de este Blog le escribió al New York Times pero el periódico no ha querido publicar su respuesta, desde hace más de una semana. Por lo anterior, deseamos hacer pública una respuesta de este Blog al New York Times, en inglés, que es el único idioma que entienden.
La respuesta, en resumen, critica al Editor del New York Times por su intromisión en asuntos internos de Colombia y más por la desinformación a sus lectores sobre el debate jurídico al interior del país.
To the Editor
The New York Times
The old proverb advises against changing horses in the middle of the stream. In the opinion of many Colombians, this is exactly what your August 22, 2008 editorial is asking Colombia to do. Memory is short, so remember that Colombia was a near failed state when Mr. Uribe was first elected into office in 2002. Again, in the opinion of those who support Mr. Uribe’s reelection, his job is not yet finished, but you would have him go. You make 5 million signatures to the election authorities for Mr. Uribe’s reelection, as well as an approval rating topping 93%, seem profoundly undemocratic.
Mr. Uribe and others have, in fact, proposed reforms that would remove the investigation of members of Congress from the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, something the United States Supreme Court does not do. You would lead your readers astray, misinform them to be exact, if you do not explain that the investigation of members of Congress would be transferred to the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the trial itself would continue under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. Many members of Congress under investigation have resigned, preferring to be prosecuted by a separate branch of government as private citizens, and tried by the existing court system, which includes the right to appeal their sentences, even up to the Supreme Court itself. Several members of Congress that did not resign and were summarily investigated by the Court and found guilty by the same Supreme Court are now pressing their cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Critics of the Court claim it is using the guileless testimony of convicted paramilitaries and other criminals as the sole or main basis for its convictions of members of Congress. It is a well-known fact that these model citizens want to get even with Mr. Uribe for dismantling their criminal activities and for extraditing their most important leaders to the United States. More importantly, they want to stop Mr. Uribe’s re-election, which would be bad news for them, as well as for FARC and narcotraffickers. These have been infiltrating Colombian institutions for decades and have an illegitimate interest in discrediting Mr. Uribe’s government, at any cost. We know they have infiltrated the Congress and the Executive branches.
Does the Supreme Court have an ax to grind with Mr. Uribe? Definitely. He has espoused a proposed constitutional amendment which would confirm Colombia’s 9 member elite Constitutional Court authority to reverse Supreme Court decisions when these breach fundamental rights, most prominently, due process rights. Supreme Court Justices vociferously oppose the proposed amendment. The debate is precisely about more checks and balances, not fewer.
You state that “Venezuela’s voters wisely blocked his [Chávez’s] plans for indefinite re-election.” Are Colombian voters less wise than Venezuelans when they want another Uribe re-election? You have a low opinion of Colombians.
You may dislike Mr. Uribe, but your jaundiced attack will only make Mr. Uribe and friends more convinced that he should stay on to protect his legacy from people like you, perceived as pursuing a hidden agenda. Let Mr. Uribe make his own choice about running for a third term. He and Colombian voters can do so without your ludicrous meddling in Colombian internal affairs. Let Colombian democracy run its own course, with or without Mr. Uribe, and definitely without your ukases. Are you next going to dictate to Colombians whom to vote for in 2010? You are a New York Times Editor and not a former Soviet Union’s Pravda Editor.