The Menendez Pelayo International University in Spain canceled the honor it was to bestow on former right-wing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe out of concern that it would be seen as “interference in the current political situation in the country.”
The government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signed a bilateral cease-fire agreement which is vehemently opposed by Uribe.
The former president was due to receive a medal from the Spanish university for his “political leadership and defense of human rights in Iberoamerica” on July 5.
The news that Menendez Pelayo International University would award Uribe a medal for human rights was met with criticism when it was announced earlier this month.
Uribe had a highly questionable human rights record during his administration, presiding over incidents such as the “false positives” scandal that saw campesinos dressed up as guerrillas in order to bolster claims that the government was succeeding in its military efforts against rebels.
In a statement the university claimed that has given out awards to other Latin American former heads of state and that they were never based on their domestic policies but rather their “institutional and academic career.”
However, given the “extraordinary circumstances in Colombia,” the university canceled the award.