Colombia: State institutions must ensure their credibility

Recent decisions by some Colombian institutions have generated a confrontation that threatens their own stability

Colombia: State institutions must ensure their credibility

In recent weeks a strong political tension has arisen in Colombia. Last Tuesday, May 15, Néstor Humberto Martínez, Attorney General of the Nation, submitted his resignation after hearing the decision taken by the JEP to release the ex-commander of the FARC, Zeuxis Pausias Hernández Solarte, alias Jesús Santrich. This generated what many have called an "institutional crisis" and we must bear in mind that this is not the first time that the country's institutions have entered into unnecessary confrontations that destabilize the State itself.

The case of the JEP

The JEP (Special Jurisdiction for Peace) is a judicial body created within the framework of peace agreements and its purpose is to investigate and judge all the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the Armed Conflict. It is important to note that it is part of the judicial institutions of the Constitution and therefore is protected by the constitutionality. In Santrich's case, he was not extradited because, according to the JEP, the evidence presented in the case was not sufficient to prove his guilt. Minutes after his release, he was recaptured and placed in custody.

The actions of the JEP were immediately questioned by the Office of the Prosecutor and by several political sectors that consider that the institution exceeded its power. On the other hand, Martinez's decision was applauded by the government and by those who are critical of the peace agreements. For others, it was a lack of respect for constitutionality.

Read also: Colombia and its 'institutional crisis'

What is the real problem?

Beyond the resignation of the official from one of the most important government positions in the country, these facts show that there is a strong polarization between the institutions and that this is generating a confrontation that may affect the credibility of the State and its institutions.

More important still is to question where this polarization comes from, because it is clear that behind these rivalries there is a conflict of powers that is generated from the representatives of said entities. The problem then becomes a struggle of interests that can become even personal to the point that their representatives end up attacking and defacing each other.

Regardless of the decisions made by a body covered by the Constitution, it is not possible to get the institutions to attack each other to prove their points and arguments, much less the representatives of these institutions should come to attack personally. It is clear that there is a gap between state entities, but these should be mediated and, if they do not agree with the actions of one of them, they should resort to legal instances to refute the judicial decisions, bearing in mind that this is their right and that they must access it.

In LatinAmerican Post, we believe that it is the duty of the State to avoid at all costs that this type of events are generated because they can cause a political or legal crisis; in addition, and above all, it must ensure its own stability and credibility, since this type of facts leaves in doubt that there is no common functioning in the State.


LatinAmerican Post | Publishing team
Translated from "
Colombia: las instituciones del Estado deben velar por su credibilidad"