Colombian politics, everything but boring

· Politic
Authors

Uribe inauguration in Congress

Colombian politics can be corrupted, elite controlled, closely linked to the paramilitaries, but is it never boring and for an outsider (with a sense of black humor) is always plain amusing.

This is attested by the following interesting twists that have recently taken place in the Colombian political landscape.

In Colombia, the Congressmen who were bribed to vote, or to miss the vote, for amending the constitution so Uribe could run for a second term were found guilty by the Supreme Court and sent to jail. Yet the inspector General absolved the government officials who bribed these same people.

In Colombia, one of ministers who was absolved by the Inspector General conveniently claimed that the Supreme Court was politicizing justice.

In Colombia, the political and business forces who want Uribe to run for a third consecutive term managed to formulate the referendum question in such a way that Uribe would not be running immediately but only four years after his second term expires. Congressmen then had to bend parliamentary rules to the maximum to amend the amateurish error.

In Colombia, the President claims that he is convincing himself to not run again because he is a democrat. Yet, he calls Congress to work hours extra in order to pass the referendum that would potentially allow him to run for a third consecutive term.

In Colombia, the leader of Partido de la U (with the closest ties to Uribe) requested the House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee to dismiss the House president because of his anti-referendum stand when choosing the house members that need to agree on a common referendum question. Yet the following day he withdrew the request because it would only delay the referendum. Understanding the delay issue, opponents of the referendum then requested the Senate President to also be dismissed, because of his pro-referendum stand.

In Colombia, the same leader of the same Partido de la U wants congressmen to have parliamentary immunity given that most of the 80 congresspeople investigated for links to the paramilitaries belong to parties supporting the president’s agenda. Members of the House who had not already resigned for their alleged ties to death squads are now investigated by the Supreme Court, because they allegedly approved the earlier-mentioned referendum, while this referendum is under investigation for possible fraudulent financing.

In Colombia, as a result of all the legal, ethical and philosophical challenges against the referendum allowing Uribe to run again for the presidency the congressmen allied with the government now want to promote a Constituent Assembly even though this would constrain even more legislation on other important areas such as the economy.

In Colombia, the sons of the president claim that turning a plot of land bought for USD 15,000 into a USD 1.4 million property due to decisions made by government officials directly appointed by their father is not illegal, instead they called it entrepreneurship. Father Uribe, obliged by the Supreme Court to answer questions about this alleged insider trading and to answer them clearly, answered evasively.

In Colombia, the head of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than USD 800 millions from the every sector in society declares his desire to run for the Senate with support of an existing political party even though he is currently in jail awaiting extradition to the US.

In Colombia, the government prefers a military rescue of kidnapped policemen by the FARC thus endangering their lives, rather than allowing an opposition congresswoman to mediate in the release of a policeman that has wasted 11 years of his life in the jungle.

In Colombia, the government is giving a US$ 100,000 reward for information that leads to the masterminds of the illegal wiretapping by the government’s own security agency on Supreme Court judges, the opposition and journalists.

Although with these kind of amusing stories one has to wonder if the joke is not on all Colombians.

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