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News > Colombia

President Petro Rejects Appointment of Acting Attorney General

  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Feb. 14, 2024.

    Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Feb. 14, 2024. | Photo: X/ @petrogustavo

Published 14 February 2024

The UN Human Rights Office also requested that the election of the new Attorney General happen as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro rejected the appointment of Martha Mancera as Attorney General in charge.


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“I do not agree that the investigating institution has been handed over to people of dubious reputation, whom the press has apparently linked to major organized crime,” he said, emphasizing that these links will not allow proper conduct of the Prosecutor's Office.

On Monday, Mancera took over as temporary replacement for Francisco Barbosa, who finished his term as Attorney General. To succeed Barbosa, the Colombian president nominated three prominent jurists Angela Buitrago, Amelia Perez and Luz Camargo.

So far, however, these candidates have not achieved 16 out of 23 votes from the members of the Supreme Court of Justice. On February 22, the Supreme Court will meet for the fifth time for a new vote given that the February 8 session could not be concluded.

Petro hopes that the Court elects the new Attorney General as soon as possible so that Mancera's interim term lasts as short as possible. According to journalistic investigations, this lawyer has been related to crime cover-up scandals.

Over the last year, the outgoing Prosecutor attempted to carry out investigations against Petro despite the fact that the Colombian constitution prohibits the Attorney General's Office from investigating the acting president. These investigations included torture, pressure on witnesses, and the fabrication of accusations based on completely legal facts.

For these reasons, as well as to guarantee impartiality, the Colombian president hopes that the Attorney General's Office will be occupied as briefly as possible by Mancera, whom he considers a pawn of Barbosa.

The Colombian President recalled that the three candidates to lead the Attorney General's Office "have demonstrated courage when they defended truth and justice at the cost of their own lives in different processes."

Through social networks, the United Nations Office for Human Rights in Colombia also commented on the election of the new Attorney General.

“We highlight the transcendental role that the Prosecutor's Office has in guaranteeing access to justice, democratic consolidation and the rule of law. Therefore, we encourage the Supreme Court to conclude the Prosecutor selection process as quickly as possible,” it said.

The UN office asked the Colombian government to provide guarantees so that the Supreme Court can conclude the selection of a new attorney general without interference of any kind.

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