BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos condemned on Saturday the dismissal of Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz in a decision of the Constituent Assembly of that country that he described as the “first dictatorial act.”
“The dismissal of prosecutor Luisa Ortega is the first dictatorial act of an illegitimate constituent. We reiterate solidarity with Venezuelan people,” Santos wrote on his Twitter account.
The Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, elected almost a week ago in controversial elections, approved on Saturday the removal of Ortega Diaz and her disqualification from the exercise of any public office.
In substitution for Ortega, who could still be put on trial, the government officials appointed ombudsman Tarek William Saab as the new attorney general.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reported last Friday that it has issued precautionary measures to protect Ortega Diaz because she faces an “imminent risk of irreparable harm.”
For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government of Colombia, issued a statement in which it rejected “strongly” the dismissal of Ortega Diaz, as well as “the aggressions and harassment to which she has been subjected.”
They also condemned “the siege of military contingents stationed in the outskirts and accesses of the headquarters of the Public Ministry,” a situation that occurred this morning when members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, military police) blocked Ortega Diaz’s access to the Headquarters of the Office of the Prosecutor.
“These facts affect the free exercise of public powers in the brother country,” he added.
In addition, they expressed “their total solidarity” with prosecutor Ortega Diaz, “while considering that this type of measure does nothing to normalize the delicate political and social situation in Venezuela.”
Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez also spoke on Twitter and explained that he has transmitted his solidarity to Ortega Diaz and stressed that “the rule of law is based on Independence of powers.”
Finally, he called for respect for the integrity and freedom of Ortega Diaz, in the name of “prosecutors who legitimately proclaim judicial autonomy.”
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