Colombian President Gustavo Petro returned Thursday to show his closeness to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He has demanded on his social networks that the Organization of American States (OAS) issue precautionary measures “in favor” of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, Launched last Wednesday. In addition, he asserted that the American Convention on Human Rights is the “great Latin American treaty” that the region needs to move forward. However, the Pan American justice system is not on the same page: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had previously questioned Castillo’s frustrated attempt to dissolve Congress to stay in power. He has acknowledged the “democratic response” of Peruvian institutions. At no time did he express concern about the former president’s rights that might be violated.
Petro is well acquainted with the Inter-American justice system, which is responsible for promoting respect for human rights by the nations that make up the Organization of American States. I turned to him in 2013 When the Attorney General dismissed him from his post as mayor of Bogota Because of the failure to implement a new toilet model. Inter-American Court He was right in 2020: declare that the Colombian state has violated their political rights and that the powers of the entity to remove officials elected by popular vote should be abolished.
The president draws parallels between his case and that of Castillo and those of other Latin American leaders. “Because he was a professor in Sierra and president of the popular election, he was cornered from day one,” on social media. According to Petro, the Peruvian legislature violated the right to “elect and be elected” and to have an independent court. It has progressed along a path revived by the “parliamentary coups” that overthrew former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 and Paraguayan Fernando Lugo in 2012. “It is the path of eliminating the opponent, of not respecting popular decisions at the ballot box. This is the path that ended with [Salvador] Allende plunged the Americas into a dictatorship.” before suggesting that Castillo “was wrong” to dissolve Congress.
I request @employee Implementing the American Convention on Human Rights and issuing preventive measures in favor of the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo.
The right to vote, to run, and to have access to an independent court of law was violated.
– Gustavo Petro (@petrogustav) December 8, 2022
But Petro and Castillo’s cases are different. Constitutional law expert Catalina Botero noted by phone that the attorney general’s office is an administrative body with no guarantees of independence or impartiality, while Congress is a political entity empowered to conduct an impeachment trial. Botero states that “loss of confidence” is a recognized figure in the Peruvian constitution and that Castillo violated the constitutional order. He comments, “Even if the conditions for abolition of Congress are met, there is no power to reorganize the judiciary anywhere,” referring to another measure announced by the then-president.
In addition, Castillo’s decisions were seen as a coup by the entire Peruvian establishment: the Office of the Ombudsman, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Constitutional Court, the Armed Forces and the Police. as well as by international entities, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which denounced it as “contrary to the constitutional order”. “The commission recognizes the immediate action taken by Peruvian institutions in defense of democracy to avoid institutional collapse,” their statement read. Nowhere did she express concern about the rights of the ex-president and preferred not to comment on Petro’s letter, after being consulted by this newspaper.
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In any case, the justice system among Americans does not function through preventative measures. Walter Arevalo, a professor at the University of Rosario’s Faculty of Law, comments over the phone that the rights of the former Peruvian president have not been violated. “In the upcoming criminal proceedings, Castillo is entitled to a series of guarantees. A precautionary measure can be requested at that time, in case the guarantees are violated and the relevant cases in Peru are exhausted, ”he highlights.
Other than the Castillo case, Petro said he bets on the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights as the great solution for Latin America. according to Your messages on TwitterIt is the great agreement that the region needs to move forward on a “peaceful, solid and democratic path”. Botero agrees with this, though he qualifies: “There has to be a political will to stay true to those principles, beyond ideologies.” Arevalo adds that the system that built the area is already legally functional. For him, states should increase funding, but no significant reforms are necessary.
Peruvian institutions understand that they are being monitored and that the Commission has jurisdiction over Peru. “They will be careful to comply,” says the professor, who is also president of the Colombian Academy of International Law. the bodily integrity and rights of Castillo, who requested political asylum in MexicoThey don’t seem to be in danger.
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