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Jorge Enrique Robledo

Bogotá,June 12, 2009.

Only as a result of a conspiracy could I be accused of having or having had links with the FARC guerrillas or any other illegal armed group.  But the way things are in Colombia, I believe I am the victim of an absurd plot, or worse, one guided by a twisted and frightening logic. There is no other explanation because obviously I know what I have said and done at every stage of a 40-year political commitment guided by the principles of MOIR, an organization born in opposition to kidnappings and armed struggle in Colombia.

It is a well-known fact in Colombia’s political history, that MOIR –and not only MOIR but other groups on the left as well– never participated or gave moral support to armed struggle. What’s more, MOIR always stated its public opposition to armed struggle even when it was a most difficult position to take. We took pains to explain along the way that political violence, which we opposed as a matter of principle, was also an obstacle to the realization, then and now, of democratic change in the country. Fortunately today, very few are willing to challenge this position any more.

How costly it was to defend our point of view, from the left, when there were at least four active guerrilla organizations with national and international visibility that enjoyed a certain amount of public acceptance because of both the injustice of the prevailing system and romantic illusions derived from the Cuban revolution. It was not easy to defeat an absurdity that had gained strength: the notion that only those who participated or justified armed struggled could honestly call themselves leftists.

I would not have joined the Polo Democrático Alternativo if the principled rejection of armed struggle, kidnappings and all forms of terrorism, stated in dozens of documents, had not been a cornerstone of the program of unity for the democratic left. This was a development of significant historical importance denied only by political ignoramuses and wheeler-dealers. Whoever says that the PDA does not have a clearly-stated position on this issue is making a disingenuous statement with malicious intentions.

The Polo Democrático Alternativo made an important contribution to the development of democratic ideas in the country by clearly defining as unacceptable practices claimed legitimate by some just because they are, or were, carried out in the name of the “left.” We cannot ignore what flows logically from all of the above, namely that armed struggles and kidnappings were in no way justifiable before the approval of the 1991 Constitution either.

Given my position on this issue, reiterated during several decades of unblemished political activism, I was surprised –clearly a naïve reaction on my part– when told that at the request of the National Police, the Prosecutor General of Colombia, Alejandro Ordóñez, had decided to conduct a preliminary investigation against me “for alleged ties with illegal groups”. This legal action, while not an accusation, is politically damaging to me regardless of the eventual conclusion, of which I am certain, will show that I have done nothing to justify such an investigation.

With a completely clear conscience I will respond to any inquiries. At the same time, I reject, with outrage, what my personal convictions lead me to view as a sinister conspiracy against me by the government of Alvaro Uribe Velez – a government that has gone so far as to bring together, in the Presidential Casa de Nariño, high-ranking officials of the Executive branch, directors of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), and well-known drug traffickers to plot against the Colombian Supreme Court.

It’s evident that they are attacking me because of my uncompromising opposition to the policies of the Uribe regime, as well as my criticism on the floor of the Colombian Senate and abroad of the “free trade agreements,” of the presidential cover up to protect pro-Uribe Congress members and government officials who have ties with the death squads, of the immorality of the Justice Minister, of the shady business dealings of the president’s sons and of his plan to turn Colombia into a personal tyranny. The goal is to silence me, to intimidate the Polo Democratico Alternativo and anyone else who dares oppose the Uribe regime.

Let President Alvaro Uribe Velez know that this senator, who is committed with dedication and integrity to defending our national dignity and true democracy, will not be silenced.  And I am convinced that those in resistance from other political positions will not be stopped either.

How proud I feel for not having supported the appointment of the current Prosecutor General of Colombia!