What did he say about the new process?

What did he say about the new process?
What did he say about the new process?

Although the appointed minister of justice, Angela Maria Buitrago, He has already expressed his opposition to the convening of a possible national constituent assembly, but he has not closed the door to the constituent process that the president of the republic intends to promote. Gustavo Petro.

According to the criteria of

The criminal lawyer, doctor in law and sociology, recognized for her work as deputy prosecutor in the case of the disappearances for the retaking of the Palace of Justice in 1985 and 37 years of experience in the administration of justiceexpressed that he wants to know in greater depth the proposal that the president intends to promote for this government or the next, as he himself expressed.

What will be your challenges and your first actions once you take office?

The challenges are several, I leave the actions pending to see how the situation is, but The challenges have to do with the justice system, with the prison system, which has to be clearly seen how it is within the corresponding articulation, which is one of the functions of the Ministry.

Work is also being done to look at what reforms are necessary. so that the elements work so that each of the corresponding areas has the necessary effectiveness. I am talking about justice, that there is access to justice, that the problems are looked at, not only with the Codes, but with the people and the structures. These are also important challenges because the justice system incorporates not only the systems of the substantive and adjective codes, but the systems of the way of sanctioning those responsible in all areas.

Based on these assumptions, I believe that there are many challenges, and I would like to look at what are the central elements that have been advanced, and what are still pending. And through the monitoring of the commission that has been established, which is currently working, one has various ideas about what are the mechanisms that could be implemented, but when I have the appointment I would tell you in detail.

You have been part of the commission of experts for the reform of justice through the Colombian Institute of Procedural Law. Will you maintain those preselected projects?

There are several things and several projects that I consider important, what happens is that also at the time when I arrive if they have not been presented, because I have not yet assumed office, the minister is still Néstor Osuna, If they have not been presented, then a selection would have to be generated and prioritize some of them that, for me, I do consider to be fundamental.

Which ones do you consider fundamental?

The issue of criminal procedural reforms, the issue of reforms even in all procedural aspects, because There are projects that have to do with civil and criminal law, which can be giving an effective return to the system without sacrificing the guarantees and rights of the victims.I think they would be the first to go, as well as investigative methods that would allow us to determine much more quickly who the alleged perpetrator is.

Minister Néstor Osuna with Ángela María Buitrago, who will replace him in the justice portfolio.

Photo:Ministry of Justice

Would the project for reward-based justice promoted by the Supreme Court and prosecutor Luz Adriana Camargo be among those first projects? This project speaks, among other things, of making pre-agreements more flexible for those who have committed femicides and serious crimes against minors…

Let’s say It is not so with regard to femicides, there is no possibility, on the contrary. Note that even according to the policy that the prosecutor has promoted, the investigation when there is a homicide against a woman is based on the fact that it is a femicide, but two, the issue of reward justice is also a mechanism that has been in the penal system for a long time and that is being promoted to improve some things. There are things that I do not share, but that we can look at from the point of view of necessity and effectiveness.but there are things that are very important, but on the subject of the reward system I think that it must be thought of as it is being thought of, as far as I know, by the Court and the Prosecutor’s Office, the effective functioning for the benefit of the victims.

What things do you not agree with about this project of the Court and the Prosecutor?

I think I need to look at the changes to the Attorney General’s project as well, because I don’t know it in its entirety. I know what has been reported in the media. But the Attorney General’s project is not yet on the table of the reform commission. I want to know the project in depth. But the Attorney General’s Office has a legislative proposal, that is a proposal that can be initiated by the Attorney General’s Office.

However, we do have to articulate why we cannot be making conflicting reforms, then It is very important to know what the fundamental aspects are that have the possibility of reforming in a structural manner and that as a system one cannot generate contrary norms.

You were talking in the last few hours about 96% impunity in the justice system. Where does this figure come from and how are we going to combat it?

Impunity is a secular phenomenon in Colombia, it is a historical phenomenon, The way to combat it is for justice to function properly. To do this, we need to look at what the bottlenecks are, what is preventing the system from delivering results, Why are so many cases being archived, why is there no investigation, what is the reality of each of the systems and also what is causing the majority of cases not to reach trial or, in other areas, the corresponding actions not to be taken. This means issuing the necessary alerts to determine which mechanisms could serve to fix these facts.

How many accusations are currently unsuccessful and end in acquittal?

I am clear about this because I did the research for the Attorney General’s Office. The problem is that cases are lost in court between 57 and 71%, that is, if the Prosecutor’s Office has already charged and accused, normally the trial must be with responsibility.However, the judges consider that there are no elements and therefore, they acquit. That is an important element but there is also another element and that is that the pre-agreements are being lost. The pre-agreements must be authorized by the judge, there are some measures that are being discussed about the need for actors to intervene in this procedure and that is what we are doing.

What to do with the prison system?

We must really look at the reality of the penitentiary system from more than 70 years ago, The Constitutional Court has also declared it to be an unconstitutional state of affairs in the face of overcrowding, and all these elements must be looked at in the light of reality and effective solutions must be sought to get out of this crisis. I believe that only when I sit down will I be able to look at the corresponding paths, plus those that have been implemented in the area of ​​humanization and that are being implemented in terms of the penitentiary system.

Angela Maria Buitrago, new Minister of Justice.

Photo:Ministry of Justice

Will anything change in the current structure of the Ministry of Justice?

I have to get there to get to know it in depth, I can’t talk about restructuring if I haven’t even taken possession.

Do you think that the position you have already expressed regarding a constituent assembly distances you in some way from President Gustavo Petro?

I have not expressed any position on the constituent assembly. I have said that I want to find out what the project is. I don’t know it and I have to wait until I get there to find out about it because obviously I don’t have the possibility of finding out about it in any other way. I have the information that you have as media and citizens.

But you said it in a forum of the Colombian Institute of Procedural Law…

I said that the constituent assembly is a procedure that is established in the constitution. and that work is being done on the basis of the reforms contained in the Constitution itself. What is being proposed and what is being talked about now is a constituent assembly, which the President himself, I heard him say in one of his speeches, is not a constituent assembly.

You said that the constituent assembly was a “dangerous distraction” in that forum…

What I said is that the constitution has a number of guarantees that if applied would be complete. I’m telling you this because I have never spoken out on the subject and I want to know more. And the president himself has said that it is not a constituent assembly.

He also said it was inconvenient. It was in March.

The constituent assembly, the assembly, but since they are talking about something else I have to see what it is.

Ana Maria Cuesta

Justice editor @JusticiaET

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