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Three accused of express kidnapping of a minor in San Pedro

In order to direct alliances around the fight against transnational terrorism between Paraguay and Colombia, within the framework of cooperation in judicial matters carried out by both countries, Colombian Attorney General Francisco Barbosa Delgado arrived in the country and held a meeting with his Paraguayan counterpart, Sandra Quiñónez, with whom he ratified the ties of brotherhood and international legal cooperation between both institutions.

In an exclusive interview with Nación Media, the highest official of the Colombian Attorney General’s Office explained that he has been working in an articulated manner with Quiñónez in the fight against drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, transnational crime, extraditions, among other issues.

“We are the holders of the criminal action, we are not tied to the speeches of cooperation but to the results. The results of the criminal investigations that we have in our countries are the central axis of these meetings, here there is no desire to meet and hold diplomatic meetings just to do them, but to try to have concrete results, as we did with the migrant smuggling,” he said.

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN JUSTICE

On the other hand, when asked about political interference in the judiciary, the foreign authority stated that “the different political groups are bothered by the Prosecutor’s Offices, because we persecute criminals and many of these groups are made up of criminals.” That is why, as he stressed, it becomes difficult for the attorney general’s offices to gain acceptance from the political class that spent years installing corruption in the countries.

In this sense, he also expressed his full support for Sandra Quiñónez, whom certain sectors of the opposition and also of the ruling party tried to remove from office. “I told the Attorney General of Paraguay that we are not here to please people, we are here to persecute criminals. We combat interference with strategic alliances, with solidarity. We reject the pressure that was exerted against the prosecutor; the prosecutor is not alone, she is accompanied by all of us who fulfill a similar function in our region, ”she added.

Barbosa Delgado, who took office on February 13, 2020 under the government of Iván Duque, stated that the attorney generals must complete their constitutional term but that many political sectors do not want this to happen for various reasons. In his particular case, he said that they also tried to remove him from office but that he did not give in to these pressures. “We have to warn these political groups that we are on the warpath, in defense of the judicial institutions of our countries,” he said.

The visitor also recalled that a month ago a presidential candidate from his country stated that the Colombian Attorney General’s Office did not offer him guarantees. “That is the typical speech to dismantle States of Law”, he launched in this regard.

HOW TO GUARANTEE HUMAN RIGHTS

In terms of human rights, the attorney general indicated that in order to neutralize the current problems, there must be unity in the protection of human rights within the State, which will lead to the civility of the population. To prevent them, he said that the Executive Power, the governorates, municipalities and the Prosecutor’s Office must articulate the necessary mechanisms around public policies. In the case of the Public Ministry, it must act quickly, so that there is no feeling of impunity. “We received the Prosecutor’s Office in Colombia with 52% of clarification of homicides of social leaders. Today it rose to 69%. That helps to strengthen the reading that is made of the Attorney General’s Office, ”he exemplified.

He deepened that having strong sanctions that will serve as a preventive measure against future practices.

THE GUERRILLAS

At another point he referred to the fight against criminal groups and guerrillas. In this sense, he explained that it can be fought with a greater institutional presence, justice and clear messages to the citizens, that with organized crime it is not possible to negotiate.

“The constitutional functions of a country should not be declined by these (armed) groups. It is necessary quickly to dismantle these criminal organizations through solid intelligence and investigations. What cannot happen is that these organizations seek to undermine the pillars of the Paraguayan State. Citizens need to understand and distinguish between legality and illegality, the values ​​of civility and destruction, the law and surrender. A country should not give up,” he stated.

Regarding the Paraguayan case, Barbosa Delgado said that Attorney General Sandra Quiñónez explained to him the scope and actions of the self-styled Army of the Paraguayan People (EPP), so that he can explain the mechanisms implemented in his country against the Colombian guerrillas. He added that he will soon hold other meetings with Quiñónez and the work teams of both countries will be expanded, to delve into this topic and other issues.

GRANDA AND CECILIA CUBAS CASE

Asked about the case of “FARC foreign minister” Rodrigo Granda, who directed the kidnapping of Cecilia Cubas in Paraguay and currently enjoys immunity in his country since 2016 after the peace agreement with the Colombian government, the attorney general first lamented the murder of the compatriot and described it as shameful. “I hurt for that family and for the Paraguayan people,” he said.

Regarding Granda’s situation, he said that “this agreement that was signed is one that has a component of transitional justice, not criminal retribution. Granda is subject to the jurisdiction of peace in Colombia, but if he leaves the territory and there is an international arrest warrant and there is international cooperation from the State where he was captured with Paraguay, he must answer for the crimes he committed. There is no international amnesty, but rather a cooperation agreement for an agreement signed in Colombia, which has effects only in Colombia”.

It is worth remembering that the Government of Mexico helped Granda in October 2021 when he arrived on Mexican soil. Instead of being arrested and extradited to Paraguay, the former guerrilla leader was returned to his country.

“That was a sovereign decision of the Mexican justice system,” he stressed on that point.

ELECTIONS IN COLOMBIA

Finally, the attorney general assured that he will be open to working with whoever is elected in the Colombian elections, regardless of which political party they are.



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