Published 6/7/2023 7:21 PM | Edited 06/07/2023 19:24
Former presidents and political leaders from several countries around the world launched this Wednesday (7) a manifesto in support of Colombian President Gustavo Petro. He defends the thesis that a moderate coup d’état is under way in his country. Today there is also a popular demonstration in Bogotá in support of Petro and the reforms, with the participation of the president himself.
The document, which gathers around 400 signatures, is endorsed by names such as the former president of Colombia Ernesto Samper, the former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa and the former president of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. There are also personalities like Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; the Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzón; British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn; and João Pimenta Lopes, Member of the European Parliament.
The list of Brazilian signatories brings together political figures such as the federal deputy and PT president, Gleisi Hoffmann (PR), the leader of the MST (Movement of Landless Rural Workers) João Pedro Stedile and the federal deputy Guilherme Boulos (PSOL-SP). , as well as several leaders of trade unions.
“A moderate coup is underway in Colombia. Since the election of the country’s first progressive government -led by President Gustavo Petro, Vice President Francia Márquez and the Historic Pact in Congress [coalizão de esquerda integrada por Petro]-, the traditional powers [de oposição] from Colombia are organized to rescue an order marked by extreme inequality, environmental destruction and violence”, says the manifesto.
“Less than a year after the Petro government took office, they are using institutional power combined with regulatory agencies, media conglomerates and the country’s judiciary to disrupt its reforms, intimidate its supporters, overthrow its leadership and smear its image on the international stage. ”, follows the text, which was articulated by the progressive global network Progressive International.
The signatories also claim that “former generals, colonels and members of Colombia’s military sectors not only revealed their opposition to President Gustavo Petro, but even marched in front of Congress calling for a coup d’état against his government”.
See the demonstrations in support of Petro, broadcast today:
The manifesto refers to a series of crises in the country in recent months, including disputes between Pedro and the Attorney General of the Republic, Francisco Barbosa. The member of the Colombian Public Prosecutor’s Office came to office after being nominated by former conservative president Iván Duque.
For the leaders who support Petro, Barbosa would be actively acting against the government by promoting “investigations that may result in the suspension, dismissal and disqualification of members of Congress” allied to the president, in addition to allegedly undertaking initiatives against Petro himself.
“The objective of this coordinated campaign is clear: to protect the interests of Colombia’s traditional powers from popular reforms that would raise wages, improve health care, protect the environment and bring ‘total peace’ to the country,” the manifesto reads.
“We, the undersigned, call upon friends of the Colombian people and allies of democracy everywhere to oppose these insidious tactics and prevent the advance of a moderate coup in Colombia”, concludes the document.
The opposition accuses Petro of corruption, the same argument used against other leftist governments in South America, before and after, and the statement cites the case of Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached under similar conditions.
The tension intensified on Sunday (4), after the leak of audios of former government agents supposedly talking about illegal and criminal financing of Petro’s campaign. There is talk of manipulation of evidence. The government refuted all accusations of illegal donations and guaranteed that there were no illegal taps. “I don’t accept being blackmailed,” said Petro, after the legal repercussions.
“Our political rivals were quick to file complaints against me with the Commission on Prosecutions. [do Parlamento]. However, in no interview or audio was it shown that I committed a crime. This is a simple attempt at a moderate coup to prevent the fight against impunity”, said the president, in a publication on social networks.
Yesterday, the Historic Pact caucus released a statement in which it said it “vehemently rejects attempts to destabilize democracy, institutions and the government of change, wherever they come from.” In the document, the parliamentarians also say: “Those allegedly responsible for cases of corruption must respond to the competent authorities. We demand that the competent authorities investigate with rigor, promptness and impartiality, always guaranteeing due legal process”.
Last week, Colombia’s Supreme Court accused the president of creating institutional instability and misinterpreting the Constitution. The reprimand came after Petro questioned the Attorney General of the Republic.
The Supreme Court, for its part, said it had received with great concern the interpretation of the constitutional article on the autonomy of the judiciary. “Ignoring or misinterpreting the foundations of our rule of law creates uncertainty, fragmentation and institutional instability,” he said in a statement.
“Petro disregards judicial autonomy and independence, a fundamental clause of Colombian democracy,” he added.
Read the document in full here.