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The People’s Congress sees the just action of the 44 Criminal Circuit Judge of Bogotá that granted the freedom of the social activists detained 66 days ago, as a triumph of the social and popular movement.

We commend, in the midst of a carceral society, the bravery of the judge that gave priority to the right of guarantees with not only the media pressure but also from senior officials of the Executive, the prosecuting body, and the Police.

The judicial functionary declared the illegality of the arrest of the youth apprehended on July 8th between 6 and 7:30 AM by establishing that the proper procedure was not realized by the Supervisory Judge in the following 36 hours, which thus is a illegal prolongation of the deprivation of liberty. The judge affirmed that the case has had a certain complexity for the media reactions that is had had, but in reality the charges pertain only to disturbances that happened in the National University of Colombia, for 10 of the detained, and the execution of actions of political propaganda of the National Liberation Army (ELN) by way of “pampleting” that do not have great destructive power.

On the other hand, the judge decreed the nullity of the decision which gave the security measure to put the 13 delete detained in prison because this decision lacked motivation which violates the obligation held by all judicial functionaries to argue their decisions. In this situation, the judge advised, the right to due process was infringed upon and the right to the defense, and thus the decision must be revisited and redecided.

On the night of September 12 , they obtained their freedom, after unjustified delays by the penitenciary authority to comply with the order of the judge.

From the moment that the youth were captured, they were publicly accused by the President of the Republic, the Vice Attorney General of the Nation, and Palomino and Guatibonza generals of the National Police, as being responsible for attacks in the different locations of Porvenir, perpetrated July 2, 2015. Since then, we have denounced the irregularities commited by the justice and the accusations made by the mainstream media that have not respected the presumption of innocence of our friends.

We will continue to support our social leaders involved in this investigation and their family members who have demonstrated their strength, and that it is possible to unveil the injustices of the judicial system. We consider that for there to be peace in our country, structural changes in the model of justice are necessary.

To the human rights defenders, lawyers, we express our sincere appreciation for their outstanding work in this process. We urge the Colombian people to support their work that made possible that today the social leaders are awaiting their freedom.

To the organizations that have accompanied us from Colombia and from other latitudes, we thank them for the solidarity that they showed in these difficult months. We recognize that there is still an important population of political prisoners held in the prisons of our country and the struggle for freedom continues.   While this is an important victory , the process continues and the persecution is far from diminished, it increases daily. Our commitment is and continues to be, the construction of a country for a dignited life.

congreso de los pueblos