The Foreign Minister of Colombia, Álvaro Leyva Durán spoke for the first time about the absence of this country in a special session of the OAS which took place on August 13, and where the administration of President Daniel Ortega was condemned for the persecution of religious and the situation of political prisoners.
The senior official told the Colombian outlet W Radio that the absence of Colombia in the regional forum was “for humanitarian reasons” and not due to maritime disputes that Bogotá maintains with Managua in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Likewise, he ruled out that it was for ideological reasons of the Colombian government of President Gustavo Petro with Daniel Ortega.
“Of course not (it has to do with the maritime disputes with Nicaragua). It is an absolutely humanitarian reason. They have wanted to mix with the litigation that has been taking place for years with Nicaragua, but I believe that the imprisoned bishop has nothing to do with our decisions of the International Court of Justice. This is a government that from the beginning speaks of total peace and even beyond borders,” Leyva said in the exclusive interview with the local media outlet W Radio.
Petro assumed power on August 4 and resumed relations with the government of Nicolás Maduro; In the same way, a rapprochement with Managua was expected, after the tense relations that Ortega had with former president Iván Duque.
But Petro since his campaign has expressed concerns about the situation of political prisoners in Nicaragua, detained in 2021, specifically by the former Sandinista guerrilla Dora María Téllez.
And in this regard, Foreign Minister Leyva expressed his outlook.
“What is happening (in Nicaragua) is already the last straw. A situation arose because we interpreted that it was time to call Mr. Ortega’s attention…that public order matters cannot be dealt with by kicking them, putting friends in jail, ending all the national associations that defend human rights. This has been outrageous,” Foreign Minister Leyva added.
The Ortega administration has not made a public statement on this issue.