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Water and the General Inspector's Office

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Where was the General Inspector's Office while the water was running out in Casanare? It wasn't investigating the offciers who let the morichales dry or who approves explotation licenses in areas of water soruces.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Education

Deocracy or plutocracy?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Democracy, Rule of law

Congressist by chance

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Democracy, Rule of law

¿Will Santos be the saviour that land restitution needs?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In his most recent column, called "President Santos, please save the land restitution", columnist León Valencia strongly criticizes some of the main policies of the Santos administration.

Reparation, Transitional justice, Democracy, Rule of law

Did the legal novel of Petro end?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

A navigation chart for the Bogotá River

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The decission that orders to clean the Bogota river is a navigation chart for the environmental policy of the country, as the Judge of the Council of State that wrote de decission said.

Environment, Democracy, Rule of law

Irrelevant political rights?

By: Paula Rangel

Colombia is far from being a country protective of political rights. But now, not does it only not protect them but it underestemates them openly.

Writ for legal protection of fundamental rights, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

A leftist CIDH?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Some of those who criticised the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) granted interim measures in favour of Petro have suggested that this happened because the ICHR has leftist biases.

Access to justice, Rule of law, Education

The lawyers of power

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When I was a Law student, many countries in Latin America where governed by military boards.

Institutions, Military courts, International humanitarian law, Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law

From civilization to barbarie

By: Sebastián Lalinde

In the Law Faculty of the University of Antioquia there is a plaque (I guess it is still there today) honoring the judeges that were murdered in 1985 in the Palace o Justice. It reads: "If the appereance of a judge signals with certainty the transit of the state of nature to the one of civilized coexistente, its brutal sacrifice by the cross of intransigent fire is the most dramatic symbol of the return to the barbarie.

Peace, Human rights, Fundamental rights, International humanitarian law, Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law, Education

Petro's constituent

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Gustavo Petro is right about reporting to the Interamerican System of Human Rights the ilegal decisions of the Inspector's Office and the Government, regarding the way his office was finished. However, he is wrong by kicking the board of the game he unfairly lost and joining the call to a constituent assembly.

Rule of law, Democracy

Legal Chauvinism

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

None of the arguments given by the Government or its lawyers to not comply the interim measures of the Interamerican Comision of Human Rights (ICHR) in the case of Petro is convincing.

Institutions, Human rights, International humanitarian law, Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

It depends on how I do

By: Mauricio García Villegas

If we had to measure how much someone respects the rule of law, I would propose as a baseline the number of times a person, even though affected or disagreeing, complies with what the norms say.

Democracy, Juan Manuel Santos, Rule of law

Why Santos should have honoured the interim measures

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

Strong legal reasons exist to affirm that Santos should have honoured the interim measures issued by the ICHR.

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law

The culture of flattery

By: Celeste Kauffman

Throwing flatteries in the street is no compliment. It is sexual street harassment.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law, Education, Discrimination

From ethics to ethnic

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

How did the political class took over the seats of the afrocolombians in the Congress?

Multiculturalism, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Electoral code, Civic culture, Congress, Racism, Rule of law, Discrimination

Democracy without the people

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Abraham Lincoln, in his famous speech in Gettysburg, characterized democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Electoral system

Electoral fraude

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Politicians don't resign themselves to loose in Colombia.

Electoral system, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

Something that escapes the pink wagons

By: Laura Gabriela Gutiérrez Baquero

Parting from the fact that the Transmilenio's special wagons for women is a provisional meassure, and that therefore it only prevents to mitigare the effects of a puntual problem, much cannot be demand from it.

Gender, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Discrimination, Sexual crime, Constitutional Court

Black Communities in the the Rosario Islands: between turistical development and environmental regulation

By: Ana Margarita González

The government could formulate a policy that reconciles the rights of the communities, the protection of the environment and the turistical development so it can resolví the existing tensions.

Multiculturalism, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Access to justice, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Discrimination, Forced displacement, Constitutional Court

Who decides on mining?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Citizens can organize consultations to oppose the effects of mining in their territories, contrary to what the Minister of Mining and the newspaper El Tiempo said, when referring to the recent decision of the Constitutional Court.

Writ for legal protection of fundamental rights, Multiculturalism, Environment, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Education, Constitutional Court

Blank vote:: an own-goal?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The blank vote seems like the way a goal to political clientelism.

Democracy, Congress, Rule of law

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Political parties, Democracy, Rule of law, Education

And the bullying goes on

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco, Diana Rodríguez Franco

Parting from the critics that Petro destitución has provoked (including those who are not with Petro), some og us thought, wrongly, that the Inspector's Office was going to slow down.

Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

The tutela writ of the displaced persons

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

While eveyone discusses the tutela writs of Petro's case, the 10th anniversary of maybe the most important tutela decision of the Colombian Constitutional Court: the T-025 of 2004. Since then, then, this decisions has been protecting the rights of five million colombians that are victimes of forced displacement.

Victims, Writ for legal protection of fundamental rights, Peace, Forced displacement, Constitutional Court

The commerce clubs

By: Tatiana Andia

Access to medicines, Access to justice, Enforceability of social rights, Education

Staggering ignorance

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Many of whom oppose any change in drug policy fall in such staggering mistakes that would even be funny if it weren't for its traginc effects; their ignorance or prejudices mantain a policy that is mistaken and that continues to cause a lot of suffering in the world.

Democracy, Rule of law, Drugs

Citizen culture

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Democracy, Civic culture, Rule of law, Education

Miracle in Ecuador?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With Venezuela and Argentina in a hurry, many look at Ecuador to search for an encouraging model for the left.

Institutions, Indigenous communities, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Civic culture, Previous consultation, Freedom of speech, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Discrimination, Forced displacement

The electoral debate on drugs

By: Jorge Alberto Parra Norato

The candidates to the congress have broken the silence. For the first time, the debate around drugs and its regulation is in the electoral campaign of Colombia.

Political reform, Democracy, Electoral code, Congress, Rule of law, Drugs

Leaks, impeachments and jurisdictions

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The talks among the high ranks of the military revealed by Semana not only show the existence of serious cases of corruption, but also refute one of the main tesis that the Government used to broaden the jurisdiction of the military justice.

Judicial reform, Judicial independence, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law, Corruption

Intelectual revolutions

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The insensitivity to social injustice and dogmatismo are, I think, two of the biggest ideological obstacles for the development of Latin America.

Institutions, Human rights, Democracy

Freedom to smoke

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Smoking is an act of freedom, some say while lighting a cigarette.

Health, Environment, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Drugs

Addictive fumigations?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Instead of renewing the spraying of illegal crops, the Government should reconsider the issue and ask itself if it hasn't fallen into a very harmful addiction.

Democracy, Juan Manuel Santos, Rule of law, Drugs

The opinion of Catholics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In a past column, regarding the campaigns of the Catholic Church against abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia and divorce, I said that it looked as though Catholics had finally, five hundred years later, listened to Martin Luther.

Democracy, Rule of law, Education, Abortion

Cosigo, the Amazon and prior consultations

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"To see a world in a grain of sand" wrote William Blake. In a grain of gold - from the mine that Cosigo Resources is planning to exploit in the natural park Yaigoié - Apaporis- one may see the future of mining and the environment.

Environment, Democracy, Rule of law

#InternetPrivacy

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The ease by which one may scan voices and data leads to abuses that affect other equally valid goals: privacy, freedom of expression, integrity and life.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

Cancer, biotechnological medicines and the dispute for market competition.

By: Tatiana Andia

Cancer increases. The International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO), released it's World Report on Cancer for 2014, last Monday February 3rd.

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Access to medicines, Health, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Who gave the order?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Some abuses may be the work of derailed agents. But other abuses can only be explained if these agents are acting on orders of someone more powerful.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

Military Intelligence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In a country that is in fourth to last place in PISA student-testing, where no university is among the top 400 of the world, no research center among the top 600, it is deplorable (to say the least) that we only speak about intelligence when we denounce abuses of so-called “military intelligence.”

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Access to justice, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Education

Let's talk about education

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

The most important questions and the best answers.

Democracy, Rule of law, Education

Inequality

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Mockingly, people used to say that middle class Latin Americans dreamed of being like the Americans from the United States, while the upper class dreamed of being like the Europeans.

Institutions, Democracy, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Should they put up with it?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Should the neighbors of a police station, who suffer damage to their property or their person from guerrilla attacks directed against the police station, tough it out and assume the cost of these injuries on their own? Or, should the state compensate them so they can rebuild their lives?

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

Ethics and economics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Some weeks I can't find a topic to write about and on others I have too many topics

Democracy, Rule of law

: Doing something over and over and expecting a different result

By: Carlos Andrés Baquero

About 15 years ago, the national government passed a law regulating the prior consultation process without, ironically, consulting the ethnic communities first.

Institutions, Democracy, Rule of law, Discrimination

Prison laws and Drugs: Any changes?

By: Jorge Alberto Parra Norato

A few days ago, the new Prison Law came into force with the goal of reducing the structural problems of the prison system.

Judicial reform, Institutions, Democracy, Rule of law, Drugs

Friends of the "tutela" writ

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It is foolish, an elitist and outdated view, to think of social protest as a deficiency. On the contrary, it is a great sign of inclusion that those who have been traditionally excluded feel that they have a voice to participate in politics and express their disagreements.

Writ for legal protection of fundamental rights, Judicial reform, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Access to justice, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Ecuador is mistakenly following Venezuela’s lead at the OAS

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Despite the Ecuadorian foreign ministry’s optimistic pronouncement last month that the countries of the region were close to reaching a consensus about moving the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), their peer States seem to feel differently.

Judicial reform, Human rights, International humanitarian law

Discomfort and democracy

By: Nathalia Sandoval

Marches, road blocks and protests may create discomfort in some sectors. But attempts to suppress them may end up asphyxiating democracy.

Democracy, Civic culture, Rule of law

Health and patents

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The blunt and candid frankness of Marjn Dekkers's, Bayer's CEO, declarations, allow for discussion about the risks that patents bring to health.

Health, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Access to medicines, Rule of law

Word by word

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The dream of any leader is that the people obey what they say word by word.

The second round of the Legal Framework for Peace

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Petro's balcony –and now, Falcao's knee—have managed to overshadow the recent Constitutional Court decision regarding the Legal Framework for Peace.

Peace, Democracy, Constitutional Court

Sabotaging Institutions

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Inspector General Ordóñez has managed to achieve what he always wanted to do: he has discredited the Constitution of 1991 and created a suitable environment for a constitutional reform

Constitutional reform, Democracy, Rule of law, Discrimination

Criminal procedure protections and removal from office

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The debate over the implications of Article 23 of the American Convention in Petro's case has come down to a single question: Does the Inspector General have the legal power to remove a popularly elected public officer from office? But Article 23 also has other important implications.

Rule of law

More on Petro's Removal from Office

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

There is an essential legal issue in Petro's removal from office that hardly been discussed.

Adversarial criminal justice system, Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law

The law as a form of politics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Carl Von Clausewitz once said that war is the continuation of politics through other means.

Democracy, Rule of law

Unqualified to disqualify?

By: Paula Rangel

A key decision to define the powers of the Inspector General's Office regarding political rights.

Institutions, Rule of law

The country of the eternal party

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The long national hangover caused by the end of the singer Diomedes´ eternal party continues to elicit different opinions.

Civic culture

Revoking the revocation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Unless a tutela writ or an interim measure by the Inter-American Commission overturn the effects of his decision, the Inspector General is likely to affirm Mayor Petro’s removal from office.

Education

The year of hope for peace

By: María Paula Saffon

For those of us who were born in the 80's, hope is almost an unknown feeling.

Peace, Civic culture, Rule of law

Personalizad internet

By: Sebastián Felipe Villamizar Santamaría

There's nothing wrong with the internet knowing (or thinking it knows) our preferences and interests.

Rule of law

Shopping in Bogotá

By: Vivian Newman Pont

For 2014, I decided to leave behind my now usual cheapness. On Christmas Eve, considering that the classic wishes for peace and harmony never come true, my wishes took a radical turn.

Institutions, Democracy, Rule of law

The struggle for law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The objective of law is peace, but the way to get there is through struggle.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law

Rural development for whom?

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

The rural development model proposed by the National Government, far from facilitating the “democratization” of the land, promotes its concentration and use in favor of large investors.

Lands, Democracy, Rule of law

Daydreaming

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

At this point, with a few hours left until it is time for the traditional grapes and apple cider, the risk-takers have made all the political predictions for next year. Some have already re-elected Santos, other have reached a peace agreement, elected a new Congress and formed the parliamentary coalitions.

Judicial reform, Institutions, Democracy, Civic culture, Rule of law

Justice and state legitimacy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In “The City of God”, San Agustin tells the story of how Alejandro Magno captured a pirate and asked him why he stole in the seas.

Democracy, Rule of law

Kirchner's "nac&pop" project

By: María Paula Saffon, María Paula Saffon

Cristina Kirchner's government illustrates the risks that populism has for democracy without offering any of its advantage in exchange.

Democracy, Rule of law

Searching for the Leader of the Year

By: Vivian Newman Pont

2013 is ending. It is time to recap the year´s events. Media organizations are making their lists of the best and worst of the year in opinion pieces and articles.

Who is the drug pirate?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Raymond Yans, accused Uruguay of piracy for approving home-grown marihuana and its legal, but highly regulated, commercial distribution.

Drugs

Petro's international option

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Since the day the Mayor Gustavo Petro´s legal team learned of the Inspector General´s Officer decision to remove the mayor from office and ban him from public office for 15 years, the team began to look North. They set their eyes on Washington, where the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is located.

Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez Garavito writes on the failure of the Climate Change World Summit in Varsow, and on the encounter in Lima in 2014, that may we the last chance to save the Planet.

Environment

Environmental democracy

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

While the Inspector General ignores the popular vote in Bogotá, in the rest of the country local democracy is flourishing.

Environment, Democracy, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

Separate and unequal: Education and social class in Colombia

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Jose Rafael Espinosa

Elementary and high school students live in two separate and unequal worlds, because the quality of the education they receive is very different. What can we do to close this gap?

Human rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Education

With three articles

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It is possible to limit the greater institutional risks of the Inspector General's Office and the worst personal excesses of Inspector General Ordóñez without changing the Constitution; we just need a short law with three articles.

Judicial reform, Democracy

The General Inspector's Short-sightedness

By: María Paula Saffon

The General Inspector thought that he was playing an ace of diamonds when he removed Petro from office.

Judicial reform, Democracy, Rule of law

Intimacy in the digital age

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Don't let them persuade you that your privacy is worth less on the Internet.

Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Access to public information

Do bulls have rights?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

While the Constitutional Court is deciding a case about bullfights in Bogotá, an excellent decision by the State Council makes it clear that animals do have some rights and bulls are not the exception.

Environment, Rule of law

Re-election, peace and democracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

A close look at the dates when high-level State officials will be chosen reveals the enormous concentration of power that the re-election of President Santos could bring. The balance of power must be re-established and there are concrete ways of accomplishing this.

Democracy, Rule of law

The Statue of Liberty… chained

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Statue of Liberty has traditionally been a symbol for immigrants to the United States representing their arrival to a free country. But considering how rapidly the prison population has grown, the Statue of Liberty should now be displayed in chains.

Prisons, Rule of law

They are entitled to a right, but it's forbidden

By: Nathalia Sandoval

The Government recognizes certain rights of the indigenous peoples of Cauca and the Afro-Colombians in the islands of the Caribean, while at the same time enforcing laws that forbid the exercise of these rights.

Multiculturalism, Indigenous communities, Human rights, Democracy, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Discrimination

Who wants to be a public official?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The removal from office of the Financial Superintendent is yet another sign of the excessive power of the Inspector General's Office.

Access to justice, Rule of law, Access to public information

Are the Five Eyes being short-sighted?

By: Vivian Newman Pont

A new United Nations resolution could put a brake on the large scale espionage carried out by countries like the United States.

Human rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Access to public information

25th Anniversary of the Comission of Colombian Jurists

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The CCJ is the Comission of Colombian Jurists, one of the most important and respected organization of human rights in Latin America. Last thursday it celebrated 25 years of admirable and unstoppable work for democracy and rights in Colombia.

Human rights

The United Nations debates the relationship between business and human rights.

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

A gathering organized by the UN Working Group may promote an international regulation respecting human rights.

Human rights, Democracy, Rule of law

For a united, but institutionalized Left

By: María Paula Saffon

Ivan Cepeda’s proposal of creating a broad alliance with a presidential candidate and rosters of candidates to the Congress is the Left´s best bet, not only for it’s future, but for the country’s.

Democracy, Rule of law

Land reform in Colombia: One step forward two steps back

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Land reform in Colombia, while politically sensitive, is necessary to stabilize the country and end a violent conflict that has plagued Colombians for more than half a century. Colombia’s internal fighting has deprived millions of their land and livelihood. Adopted in June 2011, Colombia’s Victims and Land Restitution Law, also known as Law 1448, is an important advance in providing restitution for those displaced by the conflict.

Victims, Transitional justice, Rule of law

Environmental injustice and social movements

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The Warsaw Summit failed. The sobs and the hunger strike of the representative of the Philippines were not enough. “It’s time to end this madness”, he told the stubborn leaders of the world, referring to global warming which exacerbated the effects of the Haiyan typhoon, that destroyed his family.

Rule of law

Progressive winds blowing from administrative law

By: Tatiana Andia

Administrative Law judges and the justices of the State Council could be innovating their way of protecting the public interest and of promoting regulation.

Judicial independence, Access to justice, Health, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Equity and infections in hospitals

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A recent State Council decision established that if a patient acquires an infection in a hospital then the hospital has to compensate him or her unless the hospital proves that the infection was acquired else were.

Health, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Remembering our brothers and sisters: November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance

By: Celeste Kauffman

The fact that 64% of transgender persons in Bogota suffer some sort of aggression because of their gender identity shows that we need to change prejudices for respect and comprehension.

Gender, Discrimination

Online education and the Classroom Dictatorship

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Why do professors insist on teaching the same course over and over? When did teaching became "lecturing"?

Education

The missing persons of the Palace of Justice and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It is contradictory for the Government to accept responsibility before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (ICHR) for two of the disappearances at the Palace of Justice and for the torture of two of the detainees, but then try to minimize its responsibility with regard to the other nine missing persons or the execution of Clerk Urán, by saying that what happened was a merely some State failure, but no disappearances or executions.

Victims, Truth, Reparation, Transitional justice, Human rights, Fundamental rights, International humanitarian law, Rule of law

More salt rubbed in the wounds of the victims of the Palace of Justice

By: María Paula Saffon

In the Palace of Justice hearing, the government representatives gave with one hand what they took with the other.

Victims, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law

The Inspector's General crusade against the environment

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Thanks to information sent by several readers, I see that my last column fell short in criticizing the pressure that the Inspetor General's office asserts on public officers protecting the environment

Rule of law

Was the health reform the victim of a stampede?

By: Tatiana Andia

In his Treaty on Probability (1920) and the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1937) John Maynard Keynes made a fundamental distinction between the notion of "risk" and "uncertainty".

Health, Health, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Injustices and wars

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Injustices cause wars but wars, in turn, also cause injustices.

Victims, Truth, Reparation, Transitional justice, Access to justice, Rule of law

The National University really is in crisis

By: Jorge Alberto Parra Norato

The fact that more than half of the buildings of the main public university in Colombia are in high risk of vulnerability and 4% of them are in inminent risk of collapse generates indignation.

Institutions, Rule of law, Education

The government’s legal defense in the Palace of Justice case re-victimizes the victims

By: María Paula Saffon

The government’s legal defense in the Palace of Justice case took an important turn toward decency when the lawyer Nieto Loaiza was taken off the case.

Victims, Truth, Reparation, Justice and peace law, Transitional justice, Rule of law

Second attempt at the judicial reform: What is essential?

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa, Miguel La Rota

After the last failure, we are still waiting for proposal that will allow us to overcome the three main problems of the judicial system. A key issue is to reform the Superior Council of the Judiciary, which has brought so much discredit to the judicial branch.

Judicial reform, Rule of law

Thinking of the issue drugs alongside the peace process

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

Now that the have begun discussing the different peaces and post-conflict scenarios in Colombia, it is crucial to include the pursuit of illicit drugs in the debate. From what perspectives should we approach this problem so that we don’t make the same mistakes of the past?

Access to justice, Rule of law, Drugs

The Inspector General´s Ecological Bullying

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Piedras, Tolima. In this remote rice region of the country, it is clear that the Inspector General's crusade against the rights of the citizens is more ambitious and ubiquitous than what it appears from Bogotá.

Environment, Democracy, Previous consultation, Access to justice, Discrimination

Sawhoyamaxa and the struggle for land

By: Carlos Andrés Baquero

For the last 7 years, Paraguay has failed to comply with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights decision that ordered the land titles for their ancestral land to be granted to the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community.

Multiculturalism, Environment, Indigenous communities, Discrimination

The ways of democracy

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Once again, the Constitutional Court announced a decision that shook up the political power in Colombia and it positioned itself, again, as the arbitrator of political positions on a highly controversial issue that is fundamental to Colombian institutions.

Military courts, Democracy, Constitutional Court

A surgical judicial reform?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The recent scandals about corruption in the Judicial branch are serious and they add to other deficiencies of the judicial system, like it's slowness in many fields. Some therefore propose a total reformation of the justice system, as if it had collapsed.

Judicial reform, Institutions, Constitutional control, Access to justice, Constitutional Court

The legal system has more than just defects

By: María Paula Saffon

Criticism of the legal system has resumed with force.

Separation of powers, Judicial independence, Access to justice

Can Petro be removed from office by the Inspector General?

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

Two reasons why the answer would be "no".

Institutions, Rule of law

Scholars and journalists

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It is regrettable that the debate about academic fraud in Colombia broke out in relation to the scientist Raúl Cuero. But it would be even more regrettable if the debate turned against the researcher Rodrigo Bernal, who did nothing more than what his job demands: to rigorously investigate and publish what he finds (in this case, Cuero's real record).

Institutions, Education

A Cort's outrage

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Is it abuse, excessive formalism or cowardice that the Constitutional Court struck down the reform that broadened military jurisdiction because of a procedural problem, as several analysts have pointed out?

Judicial reform, Military courts, Access to justice, Juan Manuel Santos, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

The other face of the Minga (protest march)

By: Carlos Andrés Baquero

While many celebrate Colombia´s World Cup classification, the indigenous people have been marching in protest for over a week.

Multiculturalism, Indigenous communities, Fundamental rights, Rule of law, Discrimination

Prison for protesting

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It had been a long time since such an objectionable, antidemocratic and unconstitutional piece of legislation, such as the one presented by the Minister of the defense to punish with jail time those who go out in to the streets to protest, was presented in Congress.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law

The Attorney General: ¿Unnecassry or dangerous?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Constitutional Court´s approval of the disciplinary measures against Piedad Córdoda shows the Attorney General´s enormous power. It is an unchecked power without, since not even the Court can limit it.

Democracy, Rule of law

The Tea Party without a State

By: María Paula Saffon

An article in the New Yorker from last weeks tells the story of how member of the Tea Party - the radical branch of the American Republican Party - began to doubt their decision to block the passage of the federal budget as a way to oppose the implementation of Obamacare when they saw that this lead to fewer police officers on duty and the closure of the World War II monument.

Political parties, Fundamental rights, Rule of law

Hard strike against the "sophisticated strategies"

By: Laura Gabriela Gutiérrez Baquero

The devious interpretation of the lawyers from Brigard y Urrutia of Law 160 of 1994 that allowed the accumulation of previously vacant lots by companies like Riopaila provoked different reactions. One of those was support from Senator Armando Benedetti, who said that, while the transaction was morally reprehensible, there was no doubt that it was legal.

Lands, Rule of law

Governing with trial and error

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

There is no modern country without a census of its inhabitants.

Democracy, Electoral code, Clientelism, Rule of law

Science, Higgs boson and Neptune

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The discovery of the Higgs particle, awarded the Nobel Price in Physics this year, evokes another discovery made over 150 years ago: the discovery of Neptune. Both discoveries reflect an ethic of collaborative work in science that should inspire us in other fields.

Tutela writ against marriage?

By: Paula Rangel

No, because the tutela writ is meant to protect rights, not to take them away.

LGBT, Discrimination, Constitutional Court

Santurbán and the Minister: Why Arrieta isn't right

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco, César Rodríguez Garavito

One of the first decisions the Minister of Environment should make is the final demarcation of the paramo of Santurban, which will also determine where Gold mining can be done and where it cannot.

Environment, Enforceability of social rights

Sleeping in a burning bed

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The new report from the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) nudes the existential dilemma of humanity: we know that we are destroying the planet, but we are still working on it.

Environment, Enforceability of social rights

Arbitrary tutela writs against equality

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

One thing is for a judge or a notary to determine that they cannot marry a same-sex couple, which is a plausible legal interpretation, although I think it is the wrong one.

Access to justice, Discrimination

Farc's option is justice

By: María Paula Saffon

Though it seems counterintuitive, the best available political strategy for Farc is to defend a peace agreement that includes justice measures.

The indecision that mines restitution

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

While the agrarian policies allow the land concentration to continue, the efforts of achieving restitution will be insignificant and they can be counterproductive.

Lands, Reparation, Peace, Transitional justice, Rule of law

Enterprises and human rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Private policy?

By: Vivian Newman Pont

In october of 2011 it was reported that in prison La Picota, specifically in the prison yard of the so-called "parapolítica", the future of the regional elections was being decided.

Transit: educate to not punish?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Death due to traffic accidents are as painful as inevitable, and have led to many politicians and citizens to ask for stricter punishment against those responsible for said accidents.

A peace message from South Africa

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Prison is not the most direct path toward peace.

The selectivity of the Inspector General regarding human rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Inspector General Ordóñez [his first name should also be used at first] has a strange relationship with international human rights law. When he talks in opposition to the Legal Framework for Peace, Ordóñez seems to be the most obedient follower of the principles advocated by international human rights bodies. But when he talks about the rights of women, the Inspector General blatantly ignores the concepts and criteria of these same international bodies.

From the farm to the enterprise

By: María Paula Saffon

Without a doubt, this government is better than Uribe's government, which managed the country as if it were the authoritarian taskmaster of a farm and had no shame in accepting alliances with dark forces.

Writ of Protection for the Constitutional Right (acción de tutela) to health care and the tragedy of brand-name medicine

By: Tatiana Andia

Writs for the protection of the constitutional right to health are a product of the demand for better access to brand medicine; these writs exemplify the tension between realizing the people's right to health care and the countervailing need to maintain the financial sustainability of the health care system.

Trivialising racism

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Major advances have taken place to make the black population and the discrimination against them more visible, as was shown in the opening acts of the World Afro Summit in Cali and Cartagena.

Mistaken interpretations or a misleading message?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

About the press releases issued by the Constitutional Court on the decision about the Legal Framework of Peace.

Human rights and the law of drugs

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

What happens if a state's international obligations towards drugs clash with its international human rights obligations?

The 970 and the future of seeds

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco, César Rodríguez Garavito

The agrarian strike and the documentary 9.70, in which ICA (Colombian Agricultural Institute) officers are filmed destroying 62 tons of rice in the state of Huila to comply with Resolution 970 of 2010, have placed the issue of seeds in the center of public debate. The principal discussion has revolved around how 970 regulates the production, use and commercialization of seeds in Colombia. The Government has decisively defended the resolution, pointing out that the documentary is inaccurate and ungrounded. But rather than wearing itself down by denying the existence of a problem and defending itself from the critics, some of which have been proved to be true, the Government should recognize the mistake and make progress toward the solution that it has already been thinking about.

Venezuela and the Inter American Court: A farewell or a long goodbye

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The fifth floor of the building of the Organization of American States (OAS) harbors the Rómulo Gallegos library, named this way as a homage to the first president of the Inter American Commission of Human Rights. This is a meaningful acknowledgment to the role that Venezuela once assumed in the hemispheric system of human rights. Venezuela bore the responsibility of this role in an era that was decades before both the adoption of the American Convention of Human Rights and the establishment of a Court to protect the Convention.

The Amazon: between oil and natural parks

By: Carlos Andrés Baquero

Oil exploitation in Ecuador and the enlargement of a park in Colombia show the contrast in visions on the Amazon.

Companies and human rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

How does Chiquita respond in Colombia for the victims of illegal armed groups that the multinational would helped to finance?

The statutory law of the peace referendum would be constitutional

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa, Nelson Camilo Sánchez

A warning In this article we do not refer to the eventual content of the referendum, in other words, the specific proposal that would be submitted to consideration of citizens regarding the peace process. Until now, the proposals that have circulated in media are very general and do not go beyond a simple speculation.

Ratification: the South African example

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Is it possible to overcome the existing polarization over the ratification of an eventual peace agreement? FARC insists on a constitutional assembly, while the government is radically opposed to this option.

The mystery of peasant farmer reserve areas

By: María Paula Saffon

Now that the farmers' protest has adopted national connotations and requires in-depth solutions, it is worthwhile to carefully analyze the proposal of peasant farmer reserve areas.

Does the SITP make Bogotá more human?

By: Celeste Kauffman

The SITP (Bogota's transportation system) should speed up the process of adapting its services according to the needs of citizens with disabilities.

The plane of Evo in the new air of the relation between Europe and Latin America

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The recent rebellion of the Latin American countries over the incident involving Evo Morales’s plane is symbolically complex; it could mean a change in power relations but it also runs the risk of obscuring national human rights issues.

The spring of social movements

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The reactions to the agrarian strike show that Colombians are experts in understanding violence and surviving in solitary silence; but we do not know very well neither what to do, nor what to say when facing the rare happening of a collective and pacific mobilization.

Conflict, protests and peace

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Today we are experiencing two concurrent events. First, we are witnessing the negotiations with the guerillas, which have a good possibility of success. Second, we are living through a time of very intense social unrest, as the farmers' strike demonstrated. ¿How do we interpret the simultaneity of these processes?

Peace framework: pending discussion about prison

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The ruling of the Constitutional Court supports the dialogues, however it is not a free pass to get out of prison.

I wear a ruana (#YoMePongoLaRuana)

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

That is what reminds us of the farmers’ protests and the urban campaigns that support them, such as #YoMePongoLaRuana (I wear the ruana) in Twitter.

The Attorney General of the International Criminal Court and the decision on the legal peace framework

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Are the communications, sent by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to the Constitutional Court, really “letter bombs” against the constitutionality of the Legal Framework for Peace?

The peace framework and the Attorney General's Office of the Internacional Criminal Court

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Some weeks ago news was announced of a true bomb. The news was about two private letters- leaked by media – in which the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court addressed the Constitutional Court, with the intention of making some clarifications about its vision of the Legal Framework for Peace. According to media reports, these letters could become an insurmountable obstacle for the process, given that the arguments made by the Prosecutor questioned the international validity of the peace framework and, therefore they could discredit an eventual decision by the Court supporting the framework.

Letter bombs?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Semana magazine used the term “letter bombs” to refer to two communications that Fatou Bensouda, fiscal of the International Criminal Court, sent to the Constitutional Court. The choice of terms is due to the letters’ possible impact on the imminent decision of the regarding the legal peace framework.

The farce of public land

By: María Paula Saffon

Many individuals divided their land in small segments so that their friends and family can claim them from the government, according to the law.

Drugs and hypocrisy of the State

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

There has been a lot of talk about how problematic the “war against drugs” has resulted. Not only has consumption not been reduced, but it has also generated serious harm, such as the violence related to drug trafficking, which has ended up being worse than the sickness. This has been achieved through disproportionate legislation, which has led to drug trafficking in Colombia carrying a more harsh punishment than torture or rape.

Gold, rocks and consultations

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In the town of Piedras, located in the state of Tolima in Colombia, the future of participatory democracy and the environment is at stake. The first prior consultation related to a mining project (La Colosa) took place in this town. This project would be one of the largest of the country and a star within the national portfolio of Anglo Gold, the gold mining multinational.

Minorities, threshold and oposition

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Democracy assumes that the majority rules, but democracy also assumes that the political minority will be protected so that it can eventually reach power and, thus alternation can exist.

Would you eat an in vitro hamburger?

By: Sebastián Felipe Villamizar Santamaría

More tests and funding is required. Specially, in the case of Colombia, a cientific and technological infraestructure is required to do something similar.

A disabled society

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

On a litter. That is how people in a wheel chair must board and leave an airplane when travelling throughout Colombia. I had to see this painful scene in several airports, while traveling with a foreign colleague, whose extraordinary mind and heart are highlighted by his body's immobile legs.

Uruguay: the conspiracy of the reasonable people

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In his poem “Los Conjurados (The Conspirators),” Borges pays homage to the birth of the Confederation of Switzerland. The poem says that in 1.291 “in the center of Europe, people were conspiring,” because “men of different lineages” made “the strange resolution of being reasonable”.

An eye on the military

By: María Paula Saffon

Simultaneously to the negotiations in Havana, several reforms are taking place. These reforms aim at granting the military a series of very worrisome prerogatives for a post-conflict context.

Before intimacy dissapears

By: Vivian Newman Pont

It was after taking a look at 10 notebooks in which the Egyptian authorities showed him the printed version of all his e-mails, since he had opened his Gmail account, that Ilan Grapel knew he had to change his defense strategy. In this moment, he confirmed that he was no longer the 27-year-old- young american-israeli that had travelled to Cairo to help refugees from Iraq and Sudan. Instead he had become a dangerous spy deprived from his liberty.

Legal Peace Framework: the hearing before the Constitutional Court

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

A radiography of the diverse positions regarding the Legal Peace Framework and the alternatives that the Court has in terms of punishment of authors of atrocious crimes.

Democracy, intimacy and transparency

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Could an old and respectable democracy, such as the United States, be adopting authoritarian principles, characteristic of totalitarianism rather than of a state under the rule of law?

A country of sophisticated lawyers

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

This has not been the year for lawyers. First, was the election of Alberto Rojas as judge of the Constitutional Court, in the midst of criticisms that remain unclear.

Medicine prices: ¿how is the pie distributed?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito, Tatiana Andia

Amid the national controversy over the exorbitant medicine prices, last thursday the Ministry of Health Alejandro Gaviria met his promise. That day, and in the name of the National Commission of Medicine Prices and Medical Devices, the minister presented the expected draft of the circular 04 of 2013, through which he aims to regulate the prices of 195 medications corresponding to 37 molecules.

The abuse of Riopaila and Cargill

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

Read the reasons why the purchase was illegal and should be anuled.

Against reductionist visions of human rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez Garavito answers Stephen Hopgood and Aryeh Neier, criticizing both sides of the debate due to a very simplistic point of view of the actors, the content and the strategies of the international human rights movement.

Government, companies and medicine prices

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With technical rigour and political courage, the Health Ministry is facing the powerful lobby of pharmaceutical companies and is establishing a roof for exorbitant prices of drugs.

Victims, rights and peace

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

We have to build a vision of the peace process that respects and is sensitive to victims' rights. But, at the same time, we have to advance toward a vision of victims' rights, which is sensitive to the demands and possibilities of a peace process.

The Roberts court: one stepforward, several steps back

By: María Paula Saffon

In reality, there has been an exception to the Roberts-led court,which has tended to disregard vulnerable groups' rights, while defending the privileges of the powerful.

A ruling that is a bit sophisticated

By: Paula Rangel

A sentence of the Constitutional Court will be useful to stop the 'advanced' strategies of land accumulation.

Human Rights: one step forward, one step back

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Government Santos has given human rights the attention that its predecessor had neglected them.

A newspaper page is enough...

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Last Tuesday, President Santos announced that it would reduce the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights´term in our country, with the argument that Colombia "has advanced sufficiently" not to need any "more United Nations human rights offices".

Colombia: World's champion in the price of medicine?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito, Tatiana Andia

The Sunday news report written by Juan Gossaín unleashed a heated debate regarding the prices of medications and what the Ministry of Health is doing to regulate them. The temperature increased when Minister Alejandro Gaviria and some journalists tweeted against Gossaín ("bad literature as substitute to bad journalism", was one of the accusations.)

The criminal populism of the General Inspector

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The Inspector General and some leftist populist strands have one thing in common: trying to win plaudits from citizens through attractive-sounding measures, but these are impossible to achieve or are counterproductive.

Prioritization and the criminal justice system

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The discussion on whether the Prosecutor's Office should focus on investigating certain crimes rather than others is important and difficult. But it does have a reasonable solution.

Political participation and armed conflict

By: María Paula Saffon

The proposals of political participation of FARC have received harsh criticism. The target has not only been the most controversial and maximalist proposals, such as the call for a constituent assembly or the whole reformation of the state.

From Rio to Catatumbo there are many differences

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In his Op-Ed in El Espectador, César Rodríguez Garavito points out some lessons about the "Brazilian spring", which according to him, could be useful for the Colombian case. But Rodriguez's optimism and intense emotion contrast with the public perception regarding the protests led by farmers in Catatumbo.

To recover the land to die for it?

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

The more than 100 rulings on land restitution are a step forward, but threats to complainants and related deaths put this process at risk.

An eye on privacy

By: Vivian Newman Pont

In an imperceptible but safe way, others' lives are becoming public or property of the state, thanks to Internet.

Peace, law and rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A peace agreement will be very difficult, almost impossible, if FARC believes that the peace process is merely a political issue without legal limitations.

Mister "Rayón"

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mister "Rayón" is a curious character that appeared this semester in the Bogotá campus of Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Dressed as a superhero and wearing a gas mask, his mission consisted in modifying the serious and conservative revolutionary graffiti filling the walls of the so-called "White City".

Equality, not favors

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

Quotas in favor of women are not a favor, but instead a way to guarantee real equality of women in the political sphere.

Dawn for Cordoba's great women

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Dawn was breaking on June 29th in San Pelayo. The dark blue of the night dissapears and makes way to a score of bands dragging rivers of locals and visitors.

Relocating legal general inspectors

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The legal inspector generals are redundant and expensive posts. Therefore these should be suppressed or at least radically reduced.

FARC and the people

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Now that political participation is being discussed in Havana, FARC proposed to radically reform the structure of the state, build a political system based on popular organizations and to countersign all this through a constitutional assembly.

Many dummies and few organized crime barons

By: Miguel La Rota

During the discussion of the new Penitentiary Code, the two most talked about problems of the penal system have been the impunity and overpopulation in prisons. A recent study carried out by Dejusticia shows that these two issues might be related and that strategies exist to overcome them jointly: the efforts of the criminal policy must be addressed to research and sanction what is most grave.

The South American spring, from Brazil to Colombia

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

If the cordial Brazilians woke up, why the nonconformist Colombians do not protest?

Military criminal justice jurisdiction: the reform's threats

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

Until now the military is the winner of a imaginary legal war, which generates risks for civil society and the aftermath of the conflict. The attempts to guarantee independence and impartiality of military justice are insufficient to address these risks.

The crisis of justice in Colombia

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Some months ago, when the discussion about the failed "justice reform" initiated, the constitutionalist Rodrigo Uprimny said: "The Colombian justice is ambiguous and paradoxical. Neither it is excellent nor it is collapsed. It has things that work well, but others are terrible"

Judicial independence, democratic or corporate?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

There is no democracy without judicial independence but this independence must be democratic and not corporate.

Sophisticated lawyers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In 1974 Marc Galanter wrote a notorious article about how justice operates in the Unites States. Its title in Spanish could be something like: Why do rich people always win? Throughout this text, Galanter shows how a litigation depends less on the judges and the laws than of the lawyers: the greater prestige and wealthiness of the lawyers, the easier to win lawsuits.

The rebellion of the trees

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The revolt that has Turkey on edge shows, once more, that governments do wrong by underestimating environmental protests.

Formalised or married?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Since June 20th notaries and judges must "solemnize and formalize the link" between same-sex couples that come to them with this purpose, given that this is how it was adjured by the ruling C-577 of 2011 of the Constitutional Court. But, should they marry these couples or should they join them with a different contract than matrimony?

Taxi rates

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last week I was in Cartagena, along with a foreign colleague. We were assisting an academic event.

The risks of a constitutional assembly

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

For an eventual peace agreement to be lasting and legitimate, it is vital that citizens ratify it at the ballot box. As my colleague Rodrigo Uprimny showed in his Op-Eds, the challenge is finding the appropriate mechanism: for it to be participatory and democratic, but at the same time resistant to political forces aimed at sabotaging the peace process or taking advantage of it in order to dismantle the 1991 Constitution.

How to ratify peace?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The democratic ratification of any peace agreement is imperative, just as I explained throughout my previous Op-Ed. But, which should be the mechanism? Is a law enough? Or is it necessary to take into account other devices with a greater participatory component, such as a referendum?

Faith, moral, politics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This country's inspector general is known for his strong religious convictions, which, according to himself, enlighten his public and private life.

The Ecuadorian candidate for the IACH: The other path of the weakening of the Comision

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez, (publicado en Americas Quarterly)

The control of the public function is a disturbing task, but necessary in each democracy. Many governments that have disagreed with decisions of entities of control have found two ways of eliminating said control. One way is opposing publicly the decisions or even altering the competences of the entity issuing them. Another way is taking over the entity, guaranteeing that those integrating it decide in favor of its interests, or that they are so incompetent that the entity or tribunal loses any relevance.

Congress: memory pills

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The pest of oblivion in congress is increasingly critical. Now it forgets that is approved less than a year, a law about a topic and it is going through Congress once again. And to top it all, it legislates with a different and contradictory content.

Parking the mining locomotive

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Given that the mining locomotive was left without the rules that allowed setting up its rails, there is no other alternative than to "put the house in order," as the Minister of Environment told this daily. This means extending the moratorium of mining title deeds that the Government pertinently declared some months ago.

The democratic approval of peace

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The agreement about land indicates that the negotiations at Havana are advancing. This begs an important question: an eventual agreement between the Government and FARC,should be submitted to a form of endorsement or democratic approval, such as a popular consultation?

Judicial Permissions

By: Mauricio García Villegas

As it is known, Ruth Mariana Díaz, president of the Supreme Court, was granted permission to travel in a cruise across the Caribbean, along with judges of the tribunal that depend on her vote to be accepted in the Supreme Court.

Historic attacks to the Wiwa indigenous people

By: Carlos Andrés Baquero

The state must act to break the cycle of attacks, abuses and threats committed against the Wiwa indigenous population of the mountain range of Santa Marta.

The silence of the Pacific Aliance

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The Pacific Aliance will be the main commercial bloc in America.

Political reform, Environment, Institutions, Democracy, Juan Manuel Santos

Procuring the revocation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Counteracting the Law and common sense, the Ombudsman office pretends that the mayors that are threatened from revocation do not stand up for their government nor oppose to those who pretend to shorten their period.

Democracy, Freedom of speech

Politics among enemies

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Colombia there are many protagonists of the politic debate that those who are not with them are their enemies. A perfect example of this can be seen in the declarations that were given this week by Jose Obdulio Gaviria about the general Naranjo, in which he suggests that this has connections with the mafia.

Peace, Political parties, Democracy, Rule of law

The POT and prosti-centers

By: Carolina Bernal

The discussion regarding how to deal with prostitution in Bogotá goes beyond the last week's squabble between the mayor and his opponents.

"Claro" depotism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Three decades ago a large part of public services were provided by the State. This was the case for health, mail and telecommunications. When the service was bad (something that frequently occurred) people protested before government and, sometimes, when there were many protests, it became a politicized issue and was subject of public debate. These protests and debates led to the privatization of these services. Today, after many years of experience with the new private model, things do not seem to have changed substantially. The financial voracity of private interests and a weak state capacity to control them has created a situation similar to the previous one.

A visa for another country

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I read in El Tiempo that the Colombian passport "opens increasingly more doors", meanwhile I gather a bunch of documents required by European countries to grant us a visa. This is the third Schengen visa that I apply for in six months, because each one is useful for the short period of a trip.

The political participacion of former members of FARC: A thorny road, but viable

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez, Jose Rafael Espinosa

Consumers of all countries, united!

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The collapse of the factory, which caused the death of hundreds of workers in Bangladesh rises transcendental questions, as César Rodríguez showed in his last Op-Ed.

History with sociology

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Some yeeks ago I wrote an Op-Ed about how difficult it was to achieve lasting consensus in the country. Then Eduardo Posada Carbó answered by saying that is was false divisive nagging. I answered ,in another Op-Ed, by accusing him of making a simplistic reading of my point of view and he, in turn, answered accusing me more or less of the same.

The Superior Council of the Judiciary: an opportunity for a bad design of

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

The operation of all justice depends on this body, which however lacks- almost on purpose - of democratic independence, technical capacity and the necessary representativeness.

From policemen to uninformed "parents"

By: Carolina Bernal

During the last days I have had the opportunity of interviewing many policemen as part of research I am working in and, I have met more than one in each city that due to lack of knowledge about the basic characteristics of one of the issues they deal in a daily basis – drug consumption-, they feel almost, almost as if they were facing the devil.

Made in Bangladesh

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

If you believe the recent death of more than one thousand seamstresses in Bangladesh is a foreign issue, look at the label of your pants.

A bittersweet anniversary

By:

Today is the seven-year anniversary of the right to abortion in Colombia. A right in full compliance and, therefore the state has the obligation to guarantee the provision of this service.

Disciplinary or... ideological surveillance ?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The disciplinary power exists to sanction a civil servant abusing power or not meeting his functions.

Alberto Rojas and Ciro Angarita

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The election of Alberto Rojas as judge of the Constitutional Court made me think about December 1st of 1993. During that day took place the election, in Congress, of the first permanent judges of the Constitutional Court.

Conflicts in the State: between clashes and counterbalances

By: Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

Prosecutor versus Inspector General, Mayor versus President, Court versus Court: the constant clashes between powers are worrisome for public opinion, but they are not always negative . A perceptive analysis about when these conflicts are healthy and when they are harmful.

The judge and Firavitova's widow

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I was disciple of Alberto Rojas. A disciple was how the new judge of the Constitutional Court called those who attended his classes of procedural law. “You know who my reflectors are?” asked Rojas during the mendacious radio interview in which he denied the support of Zulema Jattin. “My disciples: I have nothing else.”

The peace framework and the importance of its controversy

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The public debate regarding how to deal with the consequences of the armed conflict and the best ways of overcoming it and not living it again, is perhaps one of the most important discussions that should take place in the country. The negotiation table at Havana and the possible agreements that could be achieved have awakened, therefore, an important and necessary debate. The recently approved constitutional reform known as the legal framework for the peace has also gained attention.

An unfortunate occupation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The installation of Alberto Rojas as judge of the Constitutional Court, despite the journalistic claim that he might have appropriated the compensation of a widow due to the death of her husband, is unfortunate for the country, for the Court, for the Government, and especially for Rojas himself, whose legitimacy remains at stake.

Real and imaginary walks

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Lets suppose that the Inspector General Ordoñez wins next presidential elections (the gods will not allow it) and achieves it through a government plan that promises restoring moral, tradition and family. Lets suppose that, in the development of this program, Ordoñez prohibits the consumption of alcohol. Many things would change: the liquor factories would close and whisky importations would come to an end; parties would take place without alcohol, etc. Ah! and sure, many would violate the norm and, in this way, black markets would thrive.

The right to charge water

By: Sebastián Felipe Villamizar Santamaría

Some days ago a video re-emerged in which the President of Nestlé says that water is not a right, but must be privatized.

The locomotive without tracks

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The announcement finally became a reality: the mining locomotive was left without its last tracks, due to the Government’s incapacity to impulse a new mining code in replacement of the one that wasn´t approved by the Constitutional Court in 2011.

Egalitarian marriage after June 20th?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Congress definitely did not approve egalitarian marriage, this is, it did not extend to same-sex couples the right to get married that, us, heterosexual couples currently have. But it did not approve another kind of contract allowing same-sex couples to solemnize their family union. Therefore the question about what is going to happen since June 20th, given that the Constitutional Court ordered as consequence to a lawsuit we presented, along with several organizations, against the exclusively heterosexual definition of marriage in the civil Colombian law, and pointed out the following in the resolution: "If Congress has not issued the corresponding legislation by June 20th, same-sex couples can go before the competent notary or judge and formalize and solemnize their contractual link".

Jurists, historians and the Constitution

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Jurists are usually bad historians. But historians are usually jurists when they establish the meaning of a norm using historic methods.

Phantoms of the XVI century in the Senate

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The discussions in the Senate are not far from the controversies of the conquest epoch.

A tedious debate

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Eduardo Posada Carbó does not agree with my Op-Ed of some weeks ago regarding the current peace process, in which I talk about the scarcity of consensus and foundational myths in the history of Colombia

The new face of the Constitutional Court

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Last week the Senate elected, with a comfortable and announced majority, the lawyer Alberto Rojas as magistrate of the Constitutional Court for an eight-year period, in other words, until the beginning of 2021. With 61 votes, Rojas defeated the expert in criminal law María Lucía Zamora (who obtained 19 votes) and Alejandro Linares (supported by seven senators).

Regarding the Legal Framework for Peace: how much should one judge?

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

The debate between the public prosecutor and the attorney general illustrates two antagonistic positions regarding the selection criteria that should establish regulations for a statutory law to define the concrete application of transitional justice once a peace agreement has been signed.

Our weather injustice

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Yesterday, World Earth Day, we listened again about data that we prefer to forget during the rest of the year. If we keep consuming and contaminating as we are right now, the planet's weather can increase four degrees in the next three decades, which can put at risk of extinction half of the species.

Electoral organization and democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Democratic strengthening in our countries requires an independent electoral organization with technical capacity that can guarantee transparency and legitimacy of elections.

Stuck University

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Every year I write a similar Op-Ed about the deplorable situation lived by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Here is my take on the issue this year.

Plagiarism in the Congress and the Lleras 3.0 Law

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

If Congress approves the Lleras 3.0 Law, which the Government plans to pass, the first ones to go to jail would be the same members of Congress, because many of their bills are plagiarism from experts' studies, foreign legislations and even Internet websites.

Rites, forms and substance

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

¿How to achieve an adequate equilibrium between the form and substance of religious, social or legal rites?

A defense of the Peace Framework

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

Last year Congress passed the constitutional reform known as Legal Framework for Peace. This year, in the light of the dialogues in Havana, the Constitutional Court will have to define whether the possibility to drop, in some cases, research and legal sanction of crimes committed within the armed conflict, as the reform contemplated, implies or not a substitution of the Constitution of 1991.

Worst than a War

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Colombia is a country divided by geography, history and ideologies. Here great consensus and projects of society have been scarce like snow.

Justice and sluts

By: Paola Molano

Women sexually assaulted are not guilty for the violence committed against them, instead it is their attacker.

Barranquilla, white porcelain

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

A fact and case makes you think about racial discrimination in Barranquilla, now that the city turns 200 years.

The Court's gift to clientelism

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

How the Constitutional Court did not help to the transparency in the election of its new member.

Egalitarian marriage and pluralism

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

An enormous advance for equality and pluralism would be for the Congress to approve egalitarian marriage, this is, broadening to same- sex couples the possibility of getting married, which we, as heterosexual couples, already have.

The crime factory

By: Mauricio García Villegas

President Santos posited this week that the so-called urban "pots" are crime factories and ordered dismantling them in twenty cities in the country. But the issue is more complex and it cannot be understood outside the so-called war on drugs.

There is no free lunch

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Some weeks ago the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held a meeting in Medellin following an invitation from the Colombian government. It was not a gratuitous invitation. The government created an opportunity to send two messages to the court regarding how it expects this body to issue rulings about cases related to our country in the future.

Law, love and politics in egalitarian marriage

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

While same-sex marraige is prevailing in the United States, the legislation on the topic is staggering in the Colombian Congress.

LGBT

The political balance of the reform to the OAS system of human rights

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

"Despite almost two years of reflection and discussion, countries in the region arrived with no agreement to the General Assembly of the OAS called to define the future of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights(IACHR).” This was how different media outlets headed their coverage of the marathon meeting of chancellors organized during March 22nd in Washington D.C.

Is God secular

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It seems natural that does of us who don't believe in gods or are not particularly religious support secularism, this is, the principle according to which the colombian State should be separated of religions and be neutral in this field.

Rule of law

Chipre and the pirates

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The crisis in Chipre (that small island in the Mediterranean that closed its banks this week after the restrictions imposed by the famous Troika) made me remember the pirates of the XVII century.

Rule of law

The boicot to Los Tres Caínes and the independence of the media

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

The strategy that intends that advertisers withdraw their advertising cannot be seen as a threat to the independence of the media.

Freedom of speech, Rule of law, Access to public information

Engines and rural poverty

By: Paula Rangel

Government is betting on mining in the countryside. However, is this the best way of improving the life quality of its inhabitants?

Lands, Institutions, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

The power of the jesuits

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The arrival of the jesuit Jorge Bergoglio to the head of the Catholic Church has put the company of jesus on the spotlight. Some interpret this as the high point of the influence of the jesuits: the incarnation in the white pope of the power that already exercised the black pope, the world superior of the power of the Company.

Rule of law

Is the pope important to the catholics?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The questions seems stupid, since the designation of a new pope or his visit to any place is always a big event, even when it is in countries of a small catholic population. How could then be the pope secondary to the catholics if he is a notable character even for those that are not catholics?

Multiculturalism

What is the current state of the land restitution process?

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

It is about time to make a balance of the land restitution process, which recognizes the rights of victims that have been subject of land dispossession. There are important advances, although these are taking place at a slow rate. There are four obstacles that should be removed as soon as possible.

Back to the middleages

By: Mauricio García Villegas

At least 30 years ago, the left started to speak ill about multinationals.

Civic culture, Clientelism, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

The law and VIP

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

The State of Council's decision that declares the Decrete 444 of 2006 nule isn't surprising and it doesn't change the current regulation to the access to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (VIP) in all of the three cases that it has been recognized by the Constitutional Court.

Rule of law, Abortion

Take the water of the fish

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

On the attempts of reform of the Interamerican Comission of Human Rights

Judicial reform, Human rights, Fundamental rights, International humanitarian law, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

The Hilton, the Tayrona and the abuses of hotels

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In a historical decision against the Hilton Hotel of Cartagena, the Council of State put hotels that take over the beaches back in their place. It also reminded other who wish to do the same - like the Hotel Las Américas in Cartagena os Sis Senses and Los CIruelos in the Tayrona National Park - that the public space is for the use of everyone.

Judicial independence, Human rights, Previous consultation, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Equalitarian adoption and surrogate

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The discussion about adoption by same sex couples or equalitarian adoption is different to the debate on surrogate, this is, the possibility for a couple to pay, though not necessary, to a women to use her womb for the procreation of their baby.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Discrimination

The pope seen from France

By: Mauricio García Villegas

France isn't what one would say the bastion of catholicisme. It's more the other way around. There, the catholic church has had many headaches, starting by the promulgation, at the beginning of the French Revolution, of the so calles "Civil Constitution of the clergy", that forced priests and bishops to swear fidelity to the revolutionary people.

The land that the Incora plundered

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

The plundering of lands was caused not only by ilegal actors, but also by the State, according the first decision on restitution in the Cesar.

Forced displacement, Constitutional Court, Corruption

Future university

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Universities haven't changed much during the last one hundred years. The idea is still the same: presencial lessons directed by a professor that repeats, semestre after semester, the contents of a class; written exams to discipline students periodically; programs and professors separated by the disciplinary frontiers of a century ago: still textbooks that loose their actuality as they are published.

Intellectual property

Kenia and Colombia: so close, so far

By: Vivian Newman Pont, Eliana Kaimowitz

The distance of the equatorial paralel that takes us from Colombia to Kenia is so big, that it would seem that the two countries have nothing to do with each other. But, we have not only borrowed drums from them, skin color and tubercules. Nor is it only their emerging economy from wich other countries in Africa depend on, nor the conflict that is generated with the extraction of natural resources that puts us in similar situations. This african country is close to us in many issues in which, for now, one could remark the Political Constitution and the role of the judicial branch.

Institutions, Judicial independence, Access to justice, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

Santos and gender equality

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The celebration of women's day, last friday, is a good opportunity to think about the politics of the government to erase gender discrimination agains women. The balance is mixed.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Discrimination

Hessel and Chávez

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The last few have been of grief for the left. Last week, at his 95 years of age, died the ex leader of the french resistance, ex diplomatic and the inspirer of the movement of the indignants, Stephane Hessel.

Rule of law, Education

Steping toes in the healthcare reform

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The announced healthcare reforme shows that the Government is up to step on the powerful toes of the responsible of the crisis of the system. We still have to wait and see the details of the law, but starting now, the radical opposition of sectors as the EPS is a sign that the project is going in a good direction.

Health, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Access to medicines

Our debts to Angélica

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

We still owe Angélica Bello and the victims of the conflict recognition and the warranty of their rights.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, International humanitarian law, Crime against humanity, Rule of law, Forced displacement, Constitutional Court

They are still disappeared

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Colombia sustains before the Interamerican Court of Human Rights that it cannot be condemned for the disappereances of the Palace of Justice, because there are no proofs that show that this 12 people left the Palace alive and that they were disappeared ny a state's agent. But this thesis is false, both a probatory and at a normative level.

Victims, Truth, Reparation, Military courts, Forced disappearance, Human rights, Fundamental rights, International humanitarian law, Crime against humanity

The shepherd

By: Mauricio García Villegas

According to the catholic doctrine, the pope is like a shepherd that guides his sheeps on the way to salvation; in this metafore is founded, not only his power, but also his abnegation and his devotion.

Woman can have it all?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Why are there so few women in directive positions? Is it because of the rules of the game that are discriminatory or because of decisions that they make themselves that relegate them to the middle management?

Discrimination

An offensive defense

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The defense of Nieto Loaisa before the Interamerican Court on the case of the Palace of Justice is truly offensive: instead of being a goor juridical representation of the Colombian State, it is an attack to the national justice, and his brief is an offense to the intelligence, the truth and the victims.

Access to justice, Rule of law

Negotiating with the devil

By: Mauricio García Villegas

More than a good man, Abraham Lincoln was a good president (in the United States but they call him The Hones Abe).

Fundamental rights, Democracy, Rule of law, Corruption

More myths on the consultation with indigenous and afros

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The misinformation of the ministers pf Agriculture and of influent journalists such as Isabel Rueda and Felipe Zuleta about what's going on in the territories of indigenous communities and afros is surprising.

Indigenous communities, Previous consultation, Rule of law, Discrimination

Carnival and sex

By: Annika Dalén

The campaigns on safe sex during the Carnaval de Barranquilla are an example worth following for the rest of the authorities in the country.

LGBT

Palace of justice: The best defense is attack?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In this case before the CIDH, the nation decided to disappear the disapeared.

Military courts, Rule of law

Drugs: The sophisms of the Prosecuter

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The prosecuter, by opposing himself to the proposition of the Farc of legalizing the ilegal crops, repeated again his thesis that states that behind the legalization of the drugs are the financial and pharmaceutical companies, that are seeking to take over this profitable ilegal market, of about U$400.000 millions.

Rule of law, Drugs

The humility of arrogance

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The abdication of the Pope Benedict XVI has been seen as an act of humility.That´s how spiitual and political liders around the wold have put it.

Three myths about the consultations with indigenous and afros

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In an unfortunate article, El Tiempo announces that several Ministers will gather themselves tomorrow with the Constitutional Court to "look for ways out of the juridical tangle" of the previous consultations.

Multiculturalism, Environment, Indigenous communities, Previous consultation, Afro-colombian communities, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Constitutional Court

Prison crisis

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A brave and well founded tutela fo the 56 criminal judge of the circuit of Bogota put salt on the wound regarding the prison situation of the country, because she concluded that in the Prison Modelo of Bogota an inconstitutional state of affairs (ECI, for its initials in spanish) and ordered strong measures to confront the situation, one of wich says that no more condemned accused may be received at this center.

Judicial independence, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Prisons, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

Inflexibility and criminal blindness

By: Carolina Bernal

Even though well intended, the priority of the criminal hardening related to the sexual abuse of minors is not enough to face the problem.

Sexual crime

Nationalism and education

By: Mauricio García Villegas

One thing is pride, and another one insolence. The proud person will not only be irritated for the insults of others but will also be ashamed by his own mistakes. The same thing happens with the countries have reasons to feel proud: they admit their own mistakes.

Institutions, Democracy, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law, Education

Lessons of the fall of the law Lleras 2.0

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Several of us took notice once ti was approved in the Congress: The Law Lleras 2.0 would not pass the exam in the Constitutional Court

Intellectual property, Democracy, FTA, Constitutional Court

Precisions on drugs and law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The controversy untied by the proposal of the Ministry of Justice of establishing a personal dosis for synthetic drugs (similar to the one that exists for marihuana or cocaine) has been full of conceptual faults. It is a good thing then make some precisions in order to have a reasonable discusion in this regard, that is hard and disunited.

Democracy, Drugs

Fake witnesses and bad management of the criminal policy

By:

Prisons, Access to justice, Rule of law

Unuseful laws

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A couple of weeks ago President Santos congratulated the Minister of Justice for setting off a project to banish from the juridical order the unuseful and obsolete laws. If we repeal those laws, Santos said, we could have a "much more gobernable and efficient country"

Congress

Women, drugs and prisons

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

Crimes related to drugs have been "feminized" in Colombia. By analyzing the composition of the imprisoned population, it is evident that most of the women imprisoned are there because of this kind of crimes, and the percentages seem to be augmenting.

Prisons, Rule of law, Drugs

Vargas Llosas' cultural aristocracy

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

After the well deserved Nobel, Vargas Llosa has turned into the ambassador of nostalgia. That's how he was heard in the Hay Festival, when he repeated his moan for the extintion of intelectuals and the trivialisation of the culture, that he had launched in The civilization of spectacle.

Democracy, Education

Democracy and ICT

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Do or don't the new technologies of information and communication (ICT), such as the internet, the blogs or twitter, deepen the democracy?

Institutions, Democracy, Civic culture

The "small state"

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The president of Uruguay, José Mujica, only receives around a thousand dollars of salary (less than two millions of pesos). He gives the rest of it, 90% of his salary, to social and political causes.

Institutions

The Rose of India

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The six violators destroyed her intestins with a metal stick. During the horror, the university student may have seen the luminous blemish of the elegant neighborhoods from New Delhi through the windows of the microbus of death. So far, so close: the Rosa Elvira Cely of India. With her dead, the indignation of the biggest democracy of the world woke up as in an electrical shock.

Gender, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Sexual crime

Equity and priviliged retirement's pension

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Is it fair that all the colombians, even the poorest ones, finance with our taxes the payment of the high pensions that the congresmen and judicial magistrates receive?

Democracy, Congress

The excess of loyalty

By: Mauricio García Villegas

One year and a laf, the former president Uribe was accusing of being disloyal. Today, he accuses him of traidor and swine. How can such an argument between two heads of state? Uribe's swaggering and the persistance of his political aspirations are, without a doubt, part of that explanation.

Juan Manuel Santos

Rich garbage, poor garbage

By: Vivian Newman Pont

If we don't want to throw the world to the garbage, we have to learn to recicle it.

The National Park Tayrona, or environmental policy through Twitter

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The environmental policy of the Government look as capricious as the tweets. For the third time in only two months, the ministers and the president are improvising mends to the abuses that the social networks and the media denounce.

Environment, Juan Manuel Santos, Access to public information

"The responsibility of thinking"

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

That is the title of a very valuable book compiled by Alfredo Rocha and published in 2008 that collects 21 texts of well known academics that wrote to rend homage to Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez, one of the most recognized filosofers in Colombia, who unfortunately died last week.

Education

"Homo sapiens'" superiority

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Eagles have a view ten times stronger than humans, the sense of smell of a dog is fifty times more effective than the one of men and whales and elefants hear thousands of time better than a person. However, by the facto of being ration, human beings consider ourselves better than animals.

Stop having a hard time! You are in one of the happiest countries of the world (again)

By: Sebastián Felipe Villamizar Santamaría

The last Win-Gallup survey on the (in)happiness in the world counterattacks. Colombia is placed in the first happiness place of the world.

Civic culture

Venezuelan constitutionalism

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

The unedited situation that has presented itself in Venezuela due to the sickness of Chávez has caused a bitter constitutional in the neighbor country. To some, the decision of giving continuity to the living government until the possession and oath of Chávez is a clear fraud to the Constitution. It has been even been spoken of power usurpation and Coop d'Etat. To others the decision of preserving the popular will expressed in the elections in wich Chávez was elected is not violating the Constitution but honoring it.

Institutions, Democracy, Rule of law

On crisis and spells

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Democracy, Congress, Rule of law

Hirshman, conflict and democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Francisco Gutiérrez y Posada Carbó are right in their last colums when they highlight the notable work of Albert Hisrschman, the heterodox economist who recently passed away and that knew Colombia very well.

Democracy, Education

The new colombian nationalism

By: María Paula Saffon

One of the things I've always loved from Colombia is the low intensity of its nationalism. In other countries, such as Argentina and Mèxico, the nationalism goes so deep that it is visible in any cultural manifestation and it has been constantly used as an instrument of political mobilization, with high components of dogmatism and not fes cases of persecution of dissidence, often called "stateless". In Colombia, instead, the belonging to the nation has nat traditionally generated such an acute feeling.

Rule of law

Rojas Operative

By: Vivian Newman Pont

It is already hard to watch Operación E. in Spain. Only a few theaters are still showing, late at night, the movie based in the story of José Crisanto, the peasant who took care of the son of Clara Rojas, born in the middle of her kidnapp in the jungle, for even months.

Human rights, Democracy, Freedom of speech, Access to public information

The right to laziness

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

That's how the french socialist Paul Lafargue called an ironic and provocative essay published in 1880, in wich he opposes te fervor for work that both the right and left wings demonstrated in his time.

Moderated military and radical cattle dealers?

By: María Paula Saffon

Years ago, Guillermo O'Donnel and Phillippe Schmitter wrote an interesting book on democratic transitions. The argument is that transitions are moments of great uncertainty, in wich the decisions of political actors are definitive.

Peace, Democracy, Rule of law

On the mysteries of life

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The recent decision of the ICHR on fertilization in vitro in Costa Rica will give many to say in Colombia.

Human rights, Discrimination, Abortion

Rafael Nieto and the Santo Domingo case

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Human rights, International humanitarian law, Rule of law

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

A terrible year for the colombian justice.

Rule of law

The unhappy christmas of Justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

For over 15 years I have been writing and talking good about the colombian justice branch Even after all its tricks and defects, I have believed that the Judicial Branch is the more part of the State that one could more easily rescue.

Democracy, Access to justice, Rule of law

Deaf's dialogue

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The debate on the miner locomotive seams like a dialogue of deaf. But not because some (the Government and the oil and miner companies) ignore the others (critics that ask the rails for the locomotive), but because these and the others are equally indiferente to the evidence of the unsustainability of a country, a planent, riding such a train.

Environment

Colombia, the Vatican and Human Rights

By:

If the posture of the Holy See is so clare on abortion and equalitarian mariage, why do these topics remain in the bilateral agenda with Colombia?

Gender, Human rights, Rule of law, Discrimination, Abortion

Punitive addiction

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In Latin America it is legally worst to traffic cannabis or cocaine with the purpose of being sold to someone who wants to consume it, than to rape a women or kill someone voluntarily.

Drugs

Travelling the old fashion way

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I love to travel through the colombian roads. I enjoy passing from one mountain chaine to the other one; crossing the big rivers that come from the Massif; feeling the changes of climate, the smells of the tropic and watching the contrasting and amazing geography of these country.

Lands, Municipalities

Climate change's tsunami

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

If you're not terrified by what happened in the summit on climate change in Doha the reason is you're not paying attention. "Which summit, where?" - you may be probably wondering -. "What happened?"

Environment

Egalitarina marriage

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

The only real reason to the rejection to the egalitarian marriage is the repulsion to homosexuality. All the other arguments are only week shells that hide this aversion.

LGBT, Discrimination

A military jurisdiction, broaden de facto

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Those who have opposed ourselves to the reform that expands the military jurisdiction are told that we are wrong: that that broadening doesn't exist.

Military courts

The paper-made-Colombia

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This country has been conceived and imagined from the slopes of the Andes. From there, the politica elites, have comfortably governed, without knowing very well what's going on in the los lands that surround the three national mountain-chains; just like, centuries ago, it was the imperial authorities from Madrid that managed these colonial territories did the same.

Democracy, Rule of law

General Prosecuter by nock out

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It must be recognized: in Congress, the old politics of Prosecuter Ordóñez won by nock out to the new one of the social networks, independent opinion and civil organizations.

Political parties, Democracy, Congress, Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

The non reasons for the extended the military jurisdiction (III)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

I think I have shown in the last two columns that neither the technical justifications (absence of military knowledge of ordinary judges) nor the normative ones (absence of clarity on the rules that regulate the military combat) are acceptable to extend the military jurisdiction.

Judicial reform, Military courts

Santos's steril uribism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The number that concerns me the most from the opinion poll "Colombia Opina' is the 83% of compatriots that propose to disobey the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Institutions

Chronicle of an announced reelection

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

The reelection of the Ombudsman was obvious. But hopefully in his second period he will devote himself to observe the jurisprudence and not his believes.

Enforceability of social rights, Rule of law

In defense of silence

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Nothing less popular in a noisy country than silence. Nothing more scarce in the digital world that stillness. It is impossible to concentrate like that, to think. And that's how we do.

Rule of law

Legal interceptions: more questions than answers

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The "interceptions syndrome" arouses suspiciousness before a recent and of difficult application Decrete: technically, it isn't easy to reconcile the obligation of investigating the guilty with the rights to privacy, the habeas data and the freedom of expresion.

Freedom of speech, Constitutional Court

The non reasons for the extended the military jurisdiction (II)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A second reason that is often invoked to extend the military jurisdiction is that it aims to give military and police men more juridical security. But this second justification isnt' neither convincing nor acceptable, as was the first one, that I revised in my las column.

Military courts

Pocket justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In case of conflict between justice and law, what should prevail? This has been debated since the classic Greece. There are those who say that justice prevails because it representes a universal value. Others say no, that law prevails because the ideal of justice changes through time.

Judicial independence, Access to justice

Land restitution: is it a trap?

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

Since the expedition of the Law of victims, many broad debates have developed themselves in relation to the restitution policy. The most recent one emerged with tregard to the formal installment of the peace dialogues.

Lands, Peace

Interbolsa and the regulations's sins

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

By chances of the sociologist's trade, a few years ago, I ended up studying the world of the stock market.

Institutions, Corruption

The non reasons for the extended the military jurisdiction (I)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

None of the reasons invoked to extend the military jurisdiction is neither convenient nor acceptable.

Institutions, Military courts

Uribe's reality

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many of the great political leaders have been talented communicators. Charles de Gaulle, for example, had a particular capacity to interprete the feelings of the french and to design, with his words, real utopies that united and mobilized the people. Uribe's communication talented doesn't consist in mobilizing people through a speech that shows a reachable future. His thing is more like playing a character of Big Brother, with the lightness of the "Protagonista de novela".

Freedom of speech, Rule of law, Alvaro Uribe Velez

The still pending answers of the Cerrejón

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The sudden decision of Cerrejon of suspending the studies to divert the Ranchería river and explote coal in its bed left more questions than answers.

Environment

The decline of prohibition?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Last tuesday two votings took place in the United States that may be even more important for Colombia and Latin america than the reelection of Obama: in the states of Colorado and Washington (not the federal district), a majority of citizens approved the legalization of cannabis.

Democracy, Drugs

War's breaking

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last tuesday the race for the United State's presidency ended. But I think that, even more important than that, at least for us in Colombia, was the popular decision, that same day, of legalizing the cannabis consume in the states of Washington and Colorado.

Drugs

Facing the unprotected, where's the State?

By:

Facing the hostility against the defendants of human rights, why doesn't he Colombian Government do something?

Gender, LGBT, Discrimination

And the mining industry, who's going to make the pay taxes?

By:

The government doesn't seem interested in putting rails to this derailed locomotive: the tributary reform keeps untouched the enormous privileges that have been granted to it during the last decade.

Environment, Institutions, Rule of law

Six Senses's sixth sense

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With the deceitful "agreement" between the indigenous of the Sierra Nevada it is now clear that the Six Senses company is ready to use all the senses of tis name to build, what ever it takes, a luxury hotel in the Tayrona National Park.

Indigenous communities, Previous consultation, Clientelism

The ambious reform to "Justicia y Paz"

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

On one hand, it could speed up the investigations and on the other hand the reparation could be even harder. The president has now the word.

Justice and peace law

Strike and essential public services

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The debate on the legality of the judicial strike suggests a more general problem, that we haven't debated in a proper manner in Colombia: what should be the adequate regulation to the strike in an "essential public service" (EPS)?

Institutions, Human rights, Democracy, Access to justice

Publicists and altruism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Travelling through the roads of Antioquia I watch a sign from the "Legan Antioquia campaign", promoted by governor Sergio Fajardo. It reads as follows: "If someone provokes you, will you swindle him or her on a deal? There is a very thin line between being legal and being ilegal; where are you?".

Civic culture, Rule of law, Education

Who's who in Pacific Rubiales

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Finally, the connection between Pacific Rubiales and some communication media was demonstrated, the one that many of us, columnists, have criticized.

Institutions, Human rights, Democracy, Freedom of speech

The Farc and their victims

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

One of the speakers of the Farc in Oslo, Jesú Santrich, argumented that the Farc did not have to respond before no victim, because they are "revolutionary fighters" that have not committed "crimes against the people", but that they have exercised the universal right to rebellion. This thesis is unacceptable.

Victims, Truth, Reparation, Peace, Transitional justice, Human rights, International humanitarian law, FARC guerilla, Forced displacement

Oil's media

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In march I published a column with the results of an OCDE study that showed how a country depends on oil's exportation less habilites and knowledge is acquired their youngsters through the education system.

Freedom of speech

How much is culture worth?

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Giving breath to the hungry or cultivating his emotions and wishes?

Multiculturalism, Rule of law, Education

How does skin color taste?

By: Sebastián Felipe Villamizar Santamaría

"For the lion, a lemon ice cream", says the children's song. And it seems that for people there's also a special flavour.

Multiculturalism, Discrimination

What if we come down of the mining locomotive?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

That's the question that Nicholas Stern, the well known economist that did an influent study on the costos of climate change and who came to the anual congress of the National Hydrocarbure Agency in Cartagena, left hanging.

Environment

Jurisdiction or military outrage?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In sixth debate and with little public discussion was approved a constitutional reform that enormously increases the military jurisdiction. And that is very concerning.

Military courts, Congress

From the speach to the dialog

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Las thursday, in Oslo, the negotiations between the Farc and the Government began. The first one to speak was the spokesman of the Government, Humberto de la Calle.

Peace, FARC guerilla

Three reasons in favor of euthanasia

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Why support the bill on the right to a dead with dignity that passed to second debate in the Congress?

Human rights, Fundamental rights

The prosecuter and the "para-politics"

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

When it is about investigating parapolitics, the prosecuter is no saint at all.

Adversarial criminal justice system, Judicial independence, Corruption

Valladolid: a contemporary controversy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

¿Do or don't have the indians of the Americas the same dignity as the christians of Europe?

Multiculturalism, Human rights, Discrimination

Learning to govern

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Each political group likes to talk about what it knows. The left talks about social rights, political participation and human rights, among others. The right, on the other hand, loves talking about security, moral, culture, business, etc.

Political parties, Institutions, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Democracy

Blocking the protest

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

The Constitutional Court confirmed the Law of Citizen Security that penalizes those who block the roads as a mean of protest. However, this doesn't mean that blocking a road is enough to go to jail.

Fundamental rights, Democracy, Constitutional Court

An agreement on dying with dignity

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Is it posible to reach an agreement around the bill about eutanasia and dying with dignity that is now being discussed in the Congres?

Health, Human rights, Fundamental rights, Rule of law

Is this your answer Mr. Prosecuter?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Three weeks ago, I invited Prosecuter Ordóñez to debate seriously if he had or not violated article 126 of the Constitution.

Institutions, Access to public information

Independent catholics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Nicolás Boileau, a french writer of the XVII century, used to say that every protestant was a pope when he had a Bible in his hands. This sentence well reflects the luteran idel of liberating believers from the ecclesiastical hierarchies and of reducing the religious to God, the scriptures and grace.

Health

Reviving the San Juan

By: Paula Rangel

The reopening of the San Juan de Dios Hospital has created great expectations, but will the Hospital be able to grow again from its ashes?

Health

The good and the bad of the bill of opportunities for afrocolombians

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The bill of opportunities for afrocolombians deserves a serious debate. Instead of rushed reactions, based on half heard versions of the bill that the Government just presented, the coming discussion in the Congres needs a serious debate, based on data and lessons from other countries that have adopted similar regulations against discrimination.

Multiculturalism, Enforceability of social rights, Education, Discrimination

Abortion, pluralism and criminal policy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A sober and well supported intent of showing that there values in common and proven facts to approach national agreement on this decisive subject.

Elementary, my dear Watson

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

I don't understand why the Constitutional Court has taken so long in deciding in favor of the adoption demanded by the lesbian mothers of Medellin.

Fundamental rights, LGBT, Discrimination

Words and violence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Fernando Savater once said that wars live over all on words and that, therefore, adding words to war is like adding fuel to the fire.

The country of Pacific Rubiales

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

From hearing over and over that "Pacific is Colombia and is for you", one starts to doubt.

Corruption

Judical career and democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The civil wars of the XXth century in Colombia where essentially a confrontation between aan armed crowd of public employed

Judicial independence

The rectification that wasn't one

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

With the half done rectification of the prosecuter Ordóñez, it is clear that he will continue to partially fulfill with the jurisprudence and to miss his functions.

Rule of law

¿Me? ¿A fundamentalist?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In his last column, "The law of the funnel", Salud Hernández says that those who criticize the Prosecuter are religious fundamentalists that stand for a sacred model of society. Hernández acuses them of commiting the same sin that they denounce (intolerance) but without listening to their arguments.

Freedom of speech, Rule of law

Who removed the Minister of heatlh?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The appointment of Alejandro Gaviria as the minister of health has been rightly celebrated. However, no one has asked themselves why his predecessor, Beatriz Londoño, only lasted seven months in office.

Institutions, Gender, Access to medicines, Health

Mr. Prosecuter: lets debate with height

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

How unfortunate that the prosecuter Ordóñez avoids, with personal attack, a substantive answer to my last column, where I pointed out that he had violated article 126 od the Constitution.

The problem is not about faith

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A great controversy has been unleashed by a decision of the Constitutional Court that oblies the Prosecuter's Office to rectify false medical informations and biased judicial interpretations in relation with the subject of abortion.

Writ for legal protection of fundamental rights, Constitutional Court, Access to public information, Abortion

Environment for peace

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

So that the longed for peace may also require a reconciliation among the violentologists. And a more broad politics agenda than the one that is foreseen in the agreement between the Government and the FARC.

Peace, Environment, FARC guerilla, Rule of law

¿Should the Prosecuter remove himself from office?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

If the Prosecutor Ordóñez judged himself with the same strictness that he has used to apply disciplinary sanctions to other officers, he should remove himself grom office immediately, since it seems that he has infringed article 126 of the Constitution.

Rule of law

Family fights

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It is foten spoken from the friends and the enemies of peace, as if they were two groups clearly distinguished between them. However the talks with the subversive give raise to a more complex debate.

Truth, Lands, Peace, Transitional justice, FARC guerilla, Rule of law, ELN guerilla

The Assange case: some clarifications

By: Annika Dalén

The request of extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden and his political asylum in Equator have provoked a lot of debate. However, some of the arguments need some clarifications.

Gender, Discrimination, Sexual crime

Who is the one with a disability?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

A couple of weeks ago, we received the olympic medallists as heroes. However no one talks about the 39 colombians with disabilities that are competing on the Paralympic Games in London today. No one talks eather about what this silence tells us about the situation of the people with disabilities in the country.

Human rights, Fundamental rights, Discrimination

Our two wars

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Colombia not one war, but two wars take place: the first one si against subversion and the second one against ilegal drugs. The promoters of these two wars, even though they insist in continue waging these wars, have failed.

Victims, Truth, Peace, Transitional justice, FARC guerilla, Rule of law, ELN guerilla, Drugs

Did the Supreme Court lost its mind?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The announcement made by the Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the filing of a penal complaint against the journalist Cecilia Orozco because of an opinion column is a dangerous way of censorship and a serious attempt agains liberty of speech.

Freedom of speech, Access to public information

Is the Ombudsman's Office born again?

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Jose Rafael Espinosa

After nine years of a mute and resigned Omnudsman, it is expected from his successor to have more voice, more independence and more control over the 1400 public officials and a budget of 233 thousand millions of pesos that integrate this office.

Institutions, Access to justice, Rule of law

The name of things

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Language is not a perfect representation of the real world. Words don't usually have a clear meaning and we frequently don't know how to name what me see.

Political parties, Democracy

Some questions for the colombian government

By: César Rodríguez Garavito, Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The colombian government has sustained an ambiguos position regarding the reform process of the Interamerican commission of Human RIghts.

Human rights

A women for the Ombudsman Office

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Today the House of Representatives faces the historical opportunity of electing the first female Ombudsman, after 20 years of masculin domain.

Institutions, Gender

Altruism's door

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In all democratic countries a certain balance between two main ideals is searched: the ideal of being solidare with people who don't do well in society, mostly poor persons, sick persons, old persons, persons with disabilities, etc. and the idea that people should be awarded because of their merits and triumphs in social competence. Both of them are ideals of justice; the first one is altruistic, the second one individualistic.

Institutions, Fundamental rights, Democracy, Access to justice, Constitutional Court

Internally displaced population, debts and restitution

By: Aura Patricia Bolivar Jaime

Beyond the relief of debts, the displaced population requires complementary measures that guarantee the effective and integral restitution of their lands.

Victims, Reparation, Forced displacement

Did he smoke it up?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Mayor's Petro proposal of creating centers for the controlled consume of ilegal drugs is worth assessing and should be debated calmly since it is well guided, even though it wasn't well presented.

Health, Drugs

More on homeland love

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Three weeks ago, on my column, I criticized the consequences that come from the fact of loving countries as if they were mothers to whom we owe our existence. Daniel Mera, columnist in this journal, criticized me saying that I was mistaking patriotism with nationalism.

Indigenous and military bases: the untold

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Commotion was caused by the order of the Constitutional Court that commanded the Ministry of Defense to restitute 6 hectares to the jiw people, that wanders in a state of displacement in its territory, between Meta and Guaviare, sorting by turns Farc's leag-breaking-mines and the Army's munition that never exploted.

Lands, Indigenous communities, Forced displacement, Constitutional Court

Culture, geography and institutions

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In his recent visit to Jerusalem Mitt Romney, the american presidential candidate, said that the development of nations lied on culture and that this explained the differences between Israel and Palestina.

Multiculturalism, Institutions

Freedom of expression and criminal law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Prosecutor's criminal complaint against Piedad Cordoba for her speech in Miranda and the mayor Petro's threat to denounce Noticias Uno for economic panic, due to the dissemination of a report on water pollution in Bogota, show the low esteem of many Colombian officials for freedom of expression, as was well showed by La Silla Vacía.

Democracy

A serious subject, even though it doesn't seem like it

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In the middle of last century we had a railroad network, a social security institute, a national postal, and a telecommunications company. National integration (the little there was) was achieved by these companies. Today almost nothing remains of it. Who then fulfills the function of integrating the country?

Five myths about the indigenous of Cauca

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Judging from the Cauca discussion, the ones with the mythical thinking are not the indigenous, but those who require they be "put in place" with arguments that would be convincing in a Bogotá cocktail, but are completely unaware of the reality of the Nasa and other indigenous peoples. To advance the negotiations in good time convened by the government, it is important to dismantle the myths.

Indigenous communities

The Cauca and the media

By: Carolina Bernal

Not only the government, the army, the FARC, and the indigenous have responsibility for the social and law and order crisis in the Cauca. The media is also responsible.

Indigenous communities, FARC guerilla

Homeland atheism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The love for one's country is a religious feeling as the love for God. Lord Acton had already implied this back in 1862 when he said that "patriotism is in political life what faith is in religious life."

Ilva Myriam Hoyos and the judicial virtues

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The State Council should not propose Ilva Myriam Hoyos as a judge for the Constitutional Court, not for her conservative and religious philosophy, but because she lacks some essential virtues to be a good constitutional judge.

Constitutional Court

The wounds of the Cauca

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Colombian democracy has two major wounds and bleeds constantly through them.

Democracy, Indigenous communities, Institutions, Municipalities

Who doensn't risk, gains nothing or how to contribute to transparency

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Comments on the draft law on transparency and access to public information recently approved in Congress.

Consumerism, happiness, and environment

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The video of the Uruguayan José Mujica scolding his fellow presidents at the summit of Rio +20 has traveled the world. A speech full of simple questions, the kind that occur to a man who donates 90% of his salary because the rest is enough to sustain his simple life on a farm and get to work on a Volkswagen Model 87.

Environment

The dangers of the revocation of the Congress

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

From outrage to cool head.

Institutions

Subways and divided highways

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In the subways of the great cities of the world hundreds of thousands of people mobilize every day.

A black hole in the constitutional reforms

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

That catastrophe was the so-called justice reform revealed that besides the political responsibility of some key players, there are rules on the operation of Congress to allow things like that happen.

Judicial reform

Three events and three lessons

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last Thursday the justice reform was given burial. Thus ends one of the most painful episodes of the institutional history of this country. From everything that occurred I feature three events and pull three lessons.

Judicial reform

Reasons for the referendum

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

To tackle the grotesque judicial reform, both law and politics point out the same solution: sign the citizen referendum to repeal it.

Judicial reform, Discrimination

Appropriate justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The justice reform that has just been approved by the Congress is similar to President Uribe's re-election referendum in 2009. Both sought to amend the Constitution to benefit its promoters: Uribe, to be kept in power, and the congressmen, to have a more benevolent justice for themselves.

Judicial reform

Take advantage, no one is watching

By: Natalia Orduz

"Don't give papaya" and "at given papaya, splitted papaya" are Colombian social commandments that prevent citizenship projects like public bike sharing systems.

In the Presidential Palace, the Quota Act does not stick

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A few years ago, a professor gave a lecture in a town on the Law 80 of administrative contracts, which had just been approved, so that the local government could comply with it.

Gender, Juan Manuel Santos, Discrimination

Stories of evil people

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I do not like national television. I can't stand the amount of bad and misleading advertising and I hate the way the private channels manipulate the viewer, changing times and duration of programs.

A year gone, nine more to go

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In the blink of an eye passed the first of ten years that were set by the State as deadline to compensate the victims of the armed conflict.

Victims, Reparation

¿Santos against the Inter-American system?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It's time to discuss the dangerous double game of the Colombian government regarding human rights which became evident last week at the OAS General Assembly in Bolivia.

Juan Manuel Santos

The arrogance embodied in the Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Nearly three weeks ago Eduardo Merlano refused to perform an alcohol breath test on a police checkpoint with the lewd argument that he was a senator.

Not even a Rose more?

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

Why do we remember Rosa Cely's face, while ignoring that of many others who have been raped, tortured, and murdered?

Gender

Judicial School, judicial career and judicial reform

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The judicial career and the training of judges is not a blockbuster issue. No wonder then that in the justice reform it has received little attention, to the point that it is not clear who will administer the judicial career or where will the Lara Bonilla Judicial School be located institutionally.

Judicial reform

Not one more!

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

In order for violence against women to finally disappear.

Gender, Discrimination

A country without guerrilla

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Imagination plays an important role in the construction of social reality. So it is worth asking questions like: What would Colombia be without FARC?

The drunks of the jail

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In the debate on sanctions against drunk drivers, the ones that seem drunk are those who propose prison.

Love your neighbor

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Two weeks ago I wrote a column about the letter that Monsignor Juan Vicente Cordoba sent to the country's Catholics to alert them of the eventual approval of child adoption by same-sex couples in the Constitutional Court.

LGBT, Discrimination

Prosecutor's Office, drugs, and straw-man

By: Carolina Bernal

The book published by the Prosecutor's Office, on the debate about drug policy, intends to oppose decriminalization by refuting arguments that no one has defended.

Drugs

Justice reform and cooptation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

As in the classic western of Sergio Leone, you may find in the bill of the justice reform the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Judicial reform

Who do you think you are?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

On Sunday morning, on the streets of Barranquilla, the police stopped Senator Eduardo Merlano.

In the closet: Santos and gay couples

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Viewing Obama's statements in favor of gay marriage, I wondered: what does President Santos think about it? What has he said about the rights of LGBT people? Has he given a nod to his party in Congress to protect same-sex couples families as demanded by the Contitutional Court?

LGBT, Juan Manuel Santos

Gay dignity

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Related to the decision the Constitutional Court will soon take regarding the adoption of children by same-sex couples, Monsignor Juan Vicente Cordoba, secretary of the Episcopal Conference, sent a letter (http://bit.ly/IN2tHX) to Catholics where he invites them to unite against the Courts decisions in matters of life and family.

LGBT

Public information and perception of journalists

By: Vivian Newman Pont

If we compare ourselves to other countries in the region, we can conclude that the situation of access to information in Colombia is far from being a rose garden.

Democracy

"Dignifying" prostitution

By: Yukyan Lam

After the scandal of the U.S. Secret Service agents, a bill to regulate prostitution in Colombia is being prepared.

Superior interest of the child and equalitarian adoption

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Those who oppose adoption by same-sex couples now argue that they do not do it out of prejudice against homosexuals but for one reason above suspicion: the protection of the superior interest of minors.

LGBT, Discrimination

The political reform of the justice reform

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Jose Rafael Espinosa

Instead of addressing the underlying problems in the justice reform has focused on the legal problems of the Congress. Some of these changes are legitimate, but others are doubtful, or are just monkeys. A rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the reforms for Congress.

Judicial reform

The FARC and humanitarian law

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

At the time when the debate on the legal framework for peace is at height, the FARC have helped with their actions to make it difficult to even consider a possible scenario of politically negotiating the armed conflict.

Peace

Justice reform

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Suppose you have a house with a friend and that everyone has a place in the building.

Judicial reform

Cartagena is passion

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It is unbelievable the outrage created by the bad international press Cartagena received due to the "sexygate" of Obama's bodyguards.

Le Pen and Santorum

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The high votes obtained by the candidates from the extreme right in the presidential campaigns currently being conducted in France and the United States was astonishing. Last Sunday, in France, Marine Le Pen, National Front candidate, obtained 18% of the votes, well over 11% earned by Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the extreme left. While the winner of the contest was François Hollande from the Socialist Party (28% of the votes), the votes for Le Pen were very high and it converts her party into a major political player for the elections of 2017.

To the memory of a 'leveller': Juan Fernando Jaramillo

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The premature death of Juan Fernando Jaramillo, founder of Dejusticia, colleague from the Universidad Nacional and the Constitutional Court, and close friend, leaves a void difficult to fill, because we lost a remarkable scholar, a just judge, and a great teacher. But most of all we lost an exceptional person.

The elbow of the MANE?

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

The lack of clarity of the MANE against the use of violence as a form of struggle is problematic and could be a boomerang for the movement itself.

Releive in the Incoder: new air and last sighs

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The outgoing director was a scapegoat to hide the lack of concrete progress on the flagship program of the President: return two million hectares to victims. A balance of the inherited problems and challenges that the incoming director and the government as a whole face.

Lands

National pride

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The Summit of Cartagena became a debate over the image of Colombia to the world. Did this event really improve that image? Naturally, there were two positions. The optimistic and pessimistic.

Is Act Lleras 2.0 unconstitutional?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

After the feast of the Cartagena Summit, comes the hangover.

Doubt and certainty bartered

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A fundamentalist is someone who always accommodates reality to his beliefs and, because of that, is never willing to adapt its principles to the changes occurring in the world.

Drugs

Mi friend Juan

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The most beautiful definition of affection between friends I know I read it in Aristotle: "Friendship, says the philosopher, is a soul caught between two bodies." Following the logic of this definition, when one of these bodies has a disease, the shared soul of the relieved friend suffers almost equally.

Drugs: regulatory alternative (II)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Prohibition failed because it is unable to control illicit drug supply and causes terrible collateral damage.

Drugs

Drugs, key debate in Summit of the Americas

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A possible scenario of legalization will be one of the central themes of the meeting of heads of state next week.

Drugs

The private gag of the pundits

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With the purchase of "El Tiempo" by the Sarmiento group, many columnists have warned the risk that the economic interests of the conglomerate compromise the independence of the newspaper.

The challenges of the new General Attorney regarding the judgment of forced displacement

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The renowned criminalist Eduardo Montealegre will stren as General Attonery this week.

Forced displacement, Lands

The good citizen

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There was an Ecuatorian president whose motto was "Death to the Constitution and long life to religion."

Drugs: regulatory alternative (i)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The discussion of drugs to be held in the Summit of the Americas should not be limited to noting the failure and the costs of prohibition. It should also advance in the search of reasonable alternatives.

Drugs

A constitution more malleable than platinum

By:

The South African state bends its constitutional pillars when it allows the excesses of a tribal billionaire king who oppresses the communities but promotes the exploitation of platinum.

The two faces of hope

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Hope is an ambiguous feeling.

Open sesame

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The legend says the history of the cave of Ali Baba and the forty thieves was not invented by Scheherazade to save himself in One thousand and one nights.

Access to public information

Oil, schools, and swords

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I've always loved the Hungarian proverb: "If your sword is too short, take one step forward."

Landless serfs

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

With the National Development Plan has opened the door to go back on what little the country has made in democratization of land ownership.

Reparation, Lands

Women candidates to the General Attorney's Office

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

President Santos should propose only female candidates for the Supreme Court to elect an Attorney so that this Office continues being led by a woman.

Gender, Discrimination

What are the condemned for?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In 1757, in France, Damiens was caught after he tried to kill Louis XV.

Drugs

Colombian "pigmentocracy"

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Does skin color matter? Does having white skin bring advantages while being black reduce them? These are the questions being solved in a research led by Edward Telles at Princeton University.

Racism, Discrimination

Land restitution: "truths and lies"

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

A calm look at the arguments of the critics shows that they help to improve policy in three aspects and instead make three errors. Beyond the debate about numbers, we should clarify the scope, the context, and the barriers of land restitution while avoiding political polarization and support to those who perpetrated the spoil.

Lands

The government and the unions: two opposing Antioquias

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The fight is not between Bogota and Medellin, but between progressive and reactionary "paisas". This short paper re-enacts the story of an Antioquia that punctuated progress and modernity in the midst of a prudish country, and the other Antioquia which has lately been at the forefront of the extreme right. Who will prevail?

Municipalities

Bridges and land

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When President Lleras Restrepo ordered the construction of the footbridge on 26th Street with the National University to prevent students were hit by cars, many students refused to use it with the argument that it had been built by a government that exploited the working class. There is some of that blind and intransigent opposition in the attitude that senators Jorge Robledo and Ivan Cepeda, from the "Democratic Pole", have adopted against the policy of land restitution conducted by the present Government.

Lands

Is the Prosecutor superflous?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

We Colombians have the bad habit of institutional redundancy. That was once told to me by Hamergen Linn, a scholar of judicial reforms in Latin America.

Institutions

Spokesmen for Antioquia

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Part of the Antioquia elite is unhappy with the government of Santos.

Seeking crusades

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

While his re-election is being discussed, the crusade that the Prosecutor began in 2010 against Misoprostol is working.

Abortion

Why a coffin is cheaper than a medicine?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

That's the question being asked by Juan Gossaín in his recent chronicle of medicines in Colombia, much more expensive than in other countries. And he let this one in the air: "Can anyone explain Colombians what explains those monstrous price differences?".

Why no prosecutor should be reelected

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Brilliant legal explanation of the inconvenience and lack of legitimacy the re-election of the head of a watchdog agency would represent.

Separation of powers, Democracy

Nostalgia of slow time

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is turn on the computer, check my email, and read the headlines of national and international press.

Penalty is not worth it

By: Carolina Bernal

Not acknowledging that drug consumption is not a crime is much more expensive for the country.

Drugs

Seeking reelection

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Even if Alejandro Ordóñez was the best prosecutor we could have, his reelection would be inconvenient for the rule of law.

Democracy, Rule of law

Santos and his bipolarity with victims

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

When enacting laws and leading marches the President calls for investigation of the whole truth, but when it comes to apologizing and criticizing judicial decisions, the president asks not to touch the untouchables. This causes very particular problems.

Victims, Juan Manuel Santos

The president and the peasants

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Juan Manuel Santos is not the first Colombian president who wants to modernize the country through land restitution to peasants.

Lands

XS women, W women

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Much is said about the beauty of Colombian women. But nothing is mentioned about the personal and social cost of the lined curves, the necklines, the low waist jeans: the street turned into fashion show.

Sir or young gentleman

By: Annika Dalén

Could it be that the time has arrived in Colombia to start the debate and eliminate the unnecessary and discriminatory classification of mrs and miss?

Discrimination

The three features of democratic justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

On Wednesday this week, at Universidad de los Andes, an academic event was held to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Kaleidoscope of the justices in Colombia.

Juan Manuel Santos, Access to justice, Democracy, Judicial independence, Judicial reform

Bulls and rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The debate about bullfighting seems minor but is deep and difficult since it has to do with complex issues such as the relationship of the majority with the likes of minorities and duties of human beings to animals.

The country of doctors

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A friend from another country comes to have lunch at my house.

Discrimination

Waiting for an apology from "Don Antonio"

By: Mauricio Noguera

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenderists-LGBT-also want to know the truth, access justice, and be repaired.

Reparation, Justice and peace law, Access to justice, LGBT

A test to Santos' foreign policy

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Tomorrow, in Washington, we will know for sure what Santos' foreign policy is.

Juan Manuel Santos, Human rights

Our haunted reality

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Jorge Elias Gonzalez, the famous shaman hired to stop the rain in Bogota, said that before acting he prays for a few minutes and asks the "god father" to give him power to divert the clouds.

Ah, normal!

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Disability is not a disease. The contribution of doctors is important but more of the society is needed.

Disability

The challenges of land restitution

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Land restitution, which seems to be starting seriously with the handing over of the farm Las Catas last Thursday to 164 displaced farm families, is a necessary step. But it will not only be very difficult to achieve significant results but even if successful, the return is insufficient to consolidate peace, democracy, and justice in the rural sector.

Lands, Reparation, Forced displacement

No passing in double line?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Travelling on Colombian roads has ceased to be a pleasant experience.

Diatribe against the "great men"

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

Today, Colombians believe more in democracy than two years ago. For some it will be a surprise, for others just a platitude, but the fact that Uribe is no longer in power has a lot to do.

Democracy, Institutions, Separation of powers

Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Against a backdrop of how the United States has seen itself after 9-11, Jonathan Franzen portrays in his latest novel, Freedom, the private life of an american family. The American dream is not a dream, nor does it become a nightmare, it becomes a reality that nobody wanted and with which they have to live.

Reformulating drug policy: inescapable challenge for Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Prohibition has failed and has caused enormous damage. There are practical, feasible and proven alternatives. But the international status quo will not change until a key player, like Colombia, gives the first step.

Drugs

The evils of Caldas

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Everywhere politicians promise things they do not comply with.

Municipalities

Politicians, reading and literature

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

SHOULD A POLITICIAN, especially if he/she aspires to be president, be a good reader, even an intellectual?

Abuses of the Secretariat for Mobility

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The story I relate below happened in real life. You judge if I am wrong in saying that the Secretariat ofr Mobility committed an abuse.

Disability

Nonsense and dogma

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In the pile of books I can not read due to lack of time and which I build throughout the year hoping to remove it on vacations, I met with a Dictionary of silliness (Dictionnaire de la bêtise), written by Guy Bechtel and Jean-Claude Carrière (1991). Through more than 6 000 citations, this book gives a good picture of wrong thought, crazy, or that which has simply been defeated throughout history.

In memory of Alvaro Camacho

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

What separated me from Alvaro Camacho Guizado was his incomprehensible passion for Millionarios (soccer team), but I was drawn close to him due to the admiration I had since I was very young for the way this great scholar, who died unexpectedly and prematurely last week, could analyze, with rigor and passion, essential issues to Colombia, such as drug trafficking, violence, public safety, and recovery of historical memory.

Politicians and beauty queens that don't read

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many years ago I have not seen a beauty pageant. I hate the questions jurors ask the candidates on the coronation day: What is your favorite book?, If you could talk to the Pope, what would you ask for?, How do you world peace could be obtained?, and things like that.

The photo of the( afro) year

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With ironic timing, Hola magazine closes the international year for people of African descent with a photo of two black maids (that is what they are in the image), stationed as ornaments in the margins of the scene where their white patrons- "the most powerful women in the Cauca Valley", according to Hola- pose in front of the pool of their" formidable Hollywood mansion."

Afro-colombian communities, Racism

High class ladies

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Four ladies of the high society in Cali, sitting in a luxurious terrace adorned with vases, cushions, palm trees, beautiful views, and, in the background, two black employees, uniformed, carrying silver trays and placed on the side to garnish the stage for a photo on top of which reads: "The most powerful women of the Cauca Valley in the formidable Hollywood mansion of Sonia Zarzur in the Beverly Hills of Cali."

Racism

To reduce informality: equitable education

By:

The new Minister of Labour should be one of the most interested in supporting the requirements of the student movement.

Employment, Education

Blind judicial reform?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Wouldn't it be better to strive for reliable information and a solid diagnosis of our judicial system rather than blindly reform it?

Judicial reform

Protests

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In this end of the year the protagonists of democratic life in the country have been the students with their protests.

FARC guerilla, Education, Democracy

Trans-forming public policy

By: Annika Dalén

In a recent ruling, the Constitutional Court acknowledges the widespread discrimination against trans people and ordered a LGBTI national public policyI.

LGBT, Constitutional Court

The awarded dogs of Fernando Vallejo

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The criticism to Fernando Vallejo for announcing on Saturday, in the acceptance speech of the award from the Guadalajara Book Fair, that he would donate the $150,000 of the award to two Mexican organizations that look after stray dogs just commenced.

Free education

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

If one takes seriously the invitation of students to build a reform from the formula of education as a right and pursuit of equality, free universal proposal does not do very well.

Education

A pact with nature

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Colombians have an ambivalent attitude towards nature.

Environment

Mapiripán and the guilt of the State

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Some people compensated by the ruling of the Inter-American Court for the slaughter of Mapiripán turned out not to be victims.

Victims, Reparation

Santos and drug legalization

By: Mauricio García Villegas

If you want to reset the native pain caused by the failure of the Colombia selection in its match against Argentina, read the news about the country that appears in international press.

Drugs, Juan Manuel Santos

The pending task of students

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The challenges of the student mobilization with the withdrawal of the bill on education reform.

Education

Women in elections

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

The poor results of women in the recent elections are not simply a problem of them, but a matter of democracy.

Gender, Democracy

From the student kiss-ins to the new policy

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Those who think the student protests are a youth improvisation, or do not have to do with the wave of dissent that extends from Santiago to New York, Cairo or Madrid are wrong.

Democracy, Juan Manuel Santos, Rule of law, Education, Fundamental rights

University and social equality

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In the eighteenth century the fate of people depended on their parents: the children of peasant farmers were ineluctably peasant, as well as those of craftsmen were craftsmen and those of nobles were nobles.

Education

The silence of the poet

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The voluntary silence of a poet can sometimes be more expressive than his verses.

Drugs

On moral and politics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There are three candidates from the left vying for the presidency of France (2012-2017): François Hollande from the Socialist Party (PS), a favorite to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-Luc Melanchon from the Left Front, and Philippe Poutou from the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA). I will refer only to the latter.

Vegetables and bicicles: unhealthy?

By: Yukyan Lam

For citizens of the Colombian capital, the answer to this question may be "yes" according to some studies of the Universidad Nacional.

Environment

Petro or the last chance of the left

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

From the government of Gustavo Petro in Bogota depends, not only a city in crisis, but the future of the left.

Forced displacement, Discrimination, Clientelism, Environment

When hygiene violates fundamental rights

By: Mauricio Noguera

Arguing hygiene, women are seeing their right to conjugal visits in prisons limited.

Fundamental rights, Prisons

Upside down colonization

By: Mauricio García Villegas

"The republic only exists in the cities, at most in big towns and there it's stuck. Further down, not even the smell."

Separation of powers, Municipalities, Institutions, Rule of law

Expanding military justice?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Is it convenient or not to extend military jurisdiction, this is, the competence of the military justice?

Military courts, Judicial independence, Judicial reform

The informal rules of corruption

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There are so many corruption scandals in Colombia, one no longer feels tranquility when misdeeds are discovered but rather feels concern.

Corruption

Peddler contamination?

By: Carolina Bernal

What to do with this form of "pollution" that links authorities and traders in their desire to "cleanse" the city and "reclaim" public space?

Fundamental rights, Employment

Taking Brazil seriously

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Sao Paulo. The air breathed in Brazil seems to blow towards the future. In the stores, the 20 million people who came out of poverty during the government of Lula hustle each other to buy their first refrigerator or washing machine.

Moral and dogma

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A religion may lose its monopoly on moral principles but can not lose its dogmas.

Minimum dose, maximum discussion

By: Lina Santos

Regarding the personal drug consumption, things in this country have not been established.

Secular state, scientific uncertainties, and abortion

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Defenders of abortion criminalization in all circumstances depart from three assumptions: i) that every fertilized egg is a person; ii) that, therefore, abortion is unjustifiable, since it destroys a human being and is equivalent to murder, and iii) that therefore abortion should be illegal in all cases to protect human life.

Class racism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When I hear Senator Carlos Martinez say he is being chased for being black, I think about the complexities racism has in Colombia.

Racism

Rich and unequal

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The 2011 national human development report from PNUD was just emitted. It states once again that we don't distribute things well enough in Colombia. Not a novelty. It confirms that we are one of the most unequal countries in the world with a Gini index of income inequality of 0.58 and 0.85 for rural property, where 1 is absolute inequality.

Economics and happiness

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Everyone wants to be happy, who doesn't? However as we have no precise recipe to achieve this, we dedicate ourselves to pursue what seems like the image we have of happiness: money, love, power, recreation, etc.

Discriminating freedom of expression

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa

Despite its good intentions, the new law that criminalizes discrimination due to political or ideological reasons violates freedom of expression.

Racism

Symbolic tribunal against sexual violence in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Last Monday, in Bogota, met a major symbolic international tribunal that examined sexual violence against women in armed conflict in Colombia.

Palestine

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The decision of President Santos not to support the entry of Palestine, as a statehood, to the United Nations, not only seems contrary to justice and international law, but also politically misguided.

The new society of Gilma Jiménez

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"Why do you insist so much in life imprisonment?" asked the newspaper El Tiempo to Gilma Jiménez, referring to her plan to resurrect through referendum her proposal to amend the Constitution in order to punish with death penalty the murder, rape and other crimes against children.

Cautios defense of justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Perhaps the greatest merit judges have in Colombia is their independence from political power

Private vices, public virtues

By: Vivian Newman Pont

The privacy of public figures is not the same as the one of a normal man or woman.As announced by the Hungarian movie from which I stole the title for this column, transparency in family, personal, and social relationships of public figures does care.

Impunity, despair, and punitive populism

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Violence and crime, with high doses of impunity, lead to despair and are a fertile ground for proposals of punitive tightening.

Recognizing the good citizen

By: Mauricio García Villegas

To begin to address the problems of a country it is necessary to answer the following question: what motivates the behavior of humans? There are two possible answers.

The abortion reform bill: will we achieve a reasonable debate?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The debate of the proposed abortion bill should be restricted to discuss the legitimacy of the three cases for non-criminal penalties established by the Court.

Penalties for discrimination

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Johana Acosta, the Cartagena lawyer that was discriminated due to her skin color, has been waiting several years for justice.

Jail for discriminating?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The Congress is preparing to reconcile the passage of a law that criminalizes segregation, but more debate is needed.

Discrimination

The Colombianization of Mexico?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

On the occasion of the slaughter that occurred last week at a casino in the city of Monterrey (52 people died), the media and public opinion have referred again to the "Colombianization of Mexico."

The war on drugs: an injustice of 40 years

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

"Americans will always do the right thing, after they've exhausted all the other alternatives".

University and educational apartheid

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This seemed to be a good week for public university. After the return of President Santos from Chile (where students have been protesting for six months), the government announced it was withdrawing the proposal to establish colleges for profit (just under the bill to reform higher education) and earmark additional resources of 1.5 billion pesos to finance the public university. This is good news indeed, but the problem of education in Colombia is so big it takes much more than that.

An anti-democratic reform

By: Annika Dalén

Even if the majority of Colombian population was against abortion, this would not be a valid argument to ban it. The essence of democracy is not the dictatorship of the majority, but the guarantee of the rights of everyone.

Wastes: between recyclers and quick-witted

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The tendering of wastes in Bogota is smelly. Magically, thousands of supposed "recyclers" affiliated to associations created at the last minute to benefit from the contest rules, which sought to promote the true recyclers who have spent years digging through the trash and providing an environmental service that was priceless.

The dual personality of the State

By:

When talking about respect for labor rights the rhetoric of governments has no limits. However, at the time of recruiting the state is the first to violate the workers rights. Is it different now?

Politics and word order

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In these days I was in the difficult task of explaining to a foreigner the details of the current electoral debate. I started then the list of political parties and their ideological differences.

The 'Bolillo': a resignation feint?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It seems Fedefútbol is not going to accept the resignation to 'Bolillo', which will be a feint to distract public opinion, while Fedefútbol scores the goal of keeping him as coach of the selection.

Victims' Law: advances, constraints, and challenges

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Nelson Camilo Sánchez

While the law for care and reparation for victims overcomes debates that polarized the discussion at the time of the Uribe government, limitations in the search and recognition of the truth, and challenges as the fiscal impact and the investment the state will have to undergo in reparations, among other topics, are noted.

For a serious abortion debate

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last week, Nicolas Uribe, a columnist of this newspaper, recalled the importance of confining ourselves to serious arguments in the abortion debate.

When protesting is a crime

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

Colombian democracy needs more censorship from people to the government and less social repression.

Given the conservative wave, a rainbow wave

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Moral conservatism is gaining momentum. The Christian, Catholic, and Orthodox churches have put aside their secular differences to unite against marriage of same-sex couples.

University and tolerance

By: Mauricio García Villegas

One of the most difficult questions to resolve in a society open to dialogue is: how far should we tolerate the intolerant?

The excesses in pre-charge detention.

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It's just that the former Minister Arias has been charged by the Attorney and will be tried for the abuses of AIS. But maybe he should have not be arrested nor imprisoned.

Diverse families, happy families, and now constitutional

By: Mauricio Noguera

A highly anticipated ruling that nevertheless surprised Tyre and Trojans. Two substantive decisions: gay families do exist before the law and the Congress must legislate to protect them. What are the decisions implications and how valid are their interpretations?

Evaluating the Congress' work

By: Jose Rafael Espinosa, Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The Congress is praised -or criticized- by the "exuberance" of the previous legislature. Scrutiny tends to prove that the number of laws approved was not so extraordinary, that many crucial issues were addressed, and that the value added by the parliamentary work is significant.

Afro-Colombians and indigenous people in permanent session

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Fourth installment of the special series of El Espectator and Racial Discrimination Watch for the Year of African Descent.

Victims, Reparation, Indigenous communities, Afro-colombian communities, Racism

The equality of the equals

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Aristotle said that fair or equal treatment was all about treating equal cases equally and different cases differently.

To Congress, for equal marriage!

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

Finally, the Constitutional Court acknowledged that same-sex couples are family and soon will be able to marrie.

Secret data

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Francisco Gutierrez rubbed salt in the wound we, Colombian social researchers, silently carry like a scar of the job.

State, Constitution and Geography

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Jose Rafael Espinosa

The State has failed to control the whole territory, and this is the fundamental problem of Colombia. This lucid text examines the roots and the consequences of the historical neglect of the periphery, the intent of the 1991 Constitution to build state in these regions, and the serious need to strengthen its municipalities.

The list of our sorrows

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I DON'T MEAN TO spoil the party of the 20th of july, but I think a celebration like this should not only be a reason to exalt our glories (rather rare, in fact), but also an occasion to reflect on our mistakes as a society or what we have not been able to achieve in these two centuries of republican life.

Wedding bells ring

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

We had to wait until the last possible day to see if the Constitutional Court would say I do to equal marriage. For over two years this elusive Court has had society on tenterhooks with its reply. Last year it evaded the issue arguing procedural excuses, but today is the deadline to say yes, I do.

Not everything is arranged with a club

By: Carolina Bernal

Although Gilma Jimenez' latest bill identifies a source of problems in the breach of family obligations, the solutions proposed by it are full of problems.

The 1991 Constitution in perspective (II)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In his column on July 7, Eduardo Posada Carbó considers it is "a poor defense of the 1991 Constitution," to argue that it breaks with the Colombian constitutional tradition and is distinguished from ones before because it was not the imposition of the victors.

Constitution, Court, and economists

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

A critical look at the impact the Magna Carta of 1991 has had on the Colombian economy.

How are we the Mexicans?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

All societies (like people) at some point ask for their identity.

Abuses that exploit

By:

The exploitation of natural resources is often so abusive and unfair as labor or sexual exploitation.

The power of sexual harassment (III)

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

POWER AND SEX have always had an intimate relationship, literally.

Constitutional optimism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Faith in God is not the result of reason but of will.

Sex, lies, and disequilibrium

By: Vivian Newman Pont

What can we conclude from the clear imbalance between a white and millionaire man, with confessed weakness for women and a black and immigrant woman thirty years younger, with questioned credibility?

The constitution in perspective (I)

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

20 years after, the 1991 constitution has proven to be the most important social and political pact to broaden democracy and to achieve institutional modernization in recent decades.

The Court, protagonist defender of the Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Dejusticia examines the reasons for the prominence of the Constitutional Court in the last 20 years.

Twenty years of the Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas

NEXT MONDAY, the 20 years of the 1991 Constitution will be celebrated.

The rules of sexual harassment (II)

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

How do sexual harrasers get away with it?

Why obey the law?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Now that President Santos' first year of legislature has ended and many rules have been voted and promulgated, perhaps it is worth asking one of the oldest and most fundamental questions of law and power theory: what makes people obey the law?

A breeding rejoice!

By:

The law that extends maternity leave to 14 weeks, although successful, is not sufficient to ensure the welfare of children, family protection, and gender equity.

Life imprisonment: punitive populism without arguments

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE INITIATIVE to hold a referendum to impose life imprisonment for certain crimes against children is not only unconstitutional, as I showed in my previous column, but it is also a proposal without any basis.

The two black hands

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This week the tensions between President Uribe and former President Santos heightened. According to the media, what caused the deterioration were Uribe's statements to the newspaper La Tarde of Pereira, where he said that the present Government wanted to pass him off as corrupt.

Be a man!

By: Annika Dalén

Immediate action is needed from the authorities to stop the degrading and discriminating treatment against LGBT people in prisons.

Sexual harassment (I)

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

News about sexual predators beset us. And I can't get them out of my head.

Votes for rights, who's up with that?

By: Carolina Bernal

Has anyone asked the candidates for Mayor of Bogotá what they have to offer to people with disabilities?

A very dangerous Bill

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The procedure to restore land to victims has not come out of the oven, when a new bill to formalize property titles en masse and at full speed appears in the Congress. A careful legal analysis turns on the alarm, because everything indicates that there are contradictions.

The Constitution and its critics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

MANY HAVE praised this week the 1991 Constitution on the eve of the celebration of the twenty years after its promulgation. This should not make us forget, however, that in Colombia there are people who oppose the Constitution.

Life imprisonment: popular but unconstitutional

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

ALMOST WITHOUT DEBATE, NOT EVEN IN THE Congress itself, advances the initiative to hold a referendum to impose a life sentence for murder, rape, sexual exploitation, kidnapping or severe ill treatment against a child under 14 years.

Money to be a master

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I HAVE NOT READ "THE WITCH", OF CASTRO Caicedo, nor have I seen the TV series based on his book, but I know Fredonia, the town in Antioquia where the events occurred and I also know the story of Jaime Builes, the protagonist of the story.

Crazy for peace

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

With the approval of the victims law the debate on peace alternatives for the country opens.

Abortion: five years after the Court's ruling

By: Annika Dalén

Much remains to ensure women a legal, safe and proper voluntary termination of pregnancy in the situations envisaged by the Court.

Health: corruption, gree,d and solutions

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

LUCKILY, THE GOVERNMENT, the Attorney General's Office, and the Comptroller put teeth into the rotten apple of health. However, they have hardly given a tentative bite because the reasons for the failure go beyond the corruption of a few middle-ranking officials caught red-handed, or the ambition of some indiscreet business man such as those of Saludcoop who did a party with health money.

Relieving lies

By: Mauricio García Villegas

THE WORLD DID NOT END THE PAST 21st of May, as claimed by the pastor Harold Camping. Many were glad that this prediction did not happen, not because they thought it might be true, but because it was an opportunity to refute the evangelical pastor. "One apocalyptic charlatan less", a friend told me on May 22, convinced that in future those faithful of Camping would stop going to go to his church.

The myths of

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

What you should be removed are not the quotas approved in the political reform of 2010, but the myths on which the Government's proposal is based.

The government and gender equality in political parties

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Government actions towards greater gender equality in political parties and in the Congress are quite contradictory.

Incentives and honesty

By: Mauricio García Villegas

REGARDING THE corruption scandal in the health system, Alejandro Gaviria, in his column last week, called attention on the futility of moral complaints: rants on the pervasiveness of "quickwitted" or on our moral impairment are useless, he says.

Two dams and a thousand lessons

By:

Few, except the Indigenous and others, dared to note that these projects were anchored in a context of inevitable armed conflict.

Gunpowder and buzzards

By: Vivian Newman Pont

PRESIDENT OBAMA censored the photos of Osami bin Ladens death saying that it could affect national security.

"Slavery is a foundational trauma"

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The debate on reparations for black communities has just started, as well as studies on the enslaved and their descendants in the construction of the nation. Interview with historian Alfonso Múnera.

Afro-colombian communities, Racism

Changing rights for excesses

By: Mauricio García Villegas

TO HAVE A BAD MAYOR REMOVED from office and replaced by another one, what else would one like. The problem with this is that it isn't easy to find an appropriate mechanism to achieve this purpose.

Saying armed conflict

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

A sentence from President Santos and two words in the victims law were enough to revive the ideological broadside against the recognition of an internal armed conflict.

The armed conflict in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The uribist thesis that affirms that Colombia does not undergo an armed conflict but a terrorist threat against democracy does not stand examination, is empirically false, and is based on conceptual misunderstandings.

Disheartening ending

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I've never been convinced by the arguments of those who defend the benefits of privatization and the dismantling of the state.

Reggaeton-eros

By: Vivian Newman Pont

What to do for the eros of reggaeton to avoid focusing only on the "gasoliiiiiiiiiiina"?

Another "little article" or goodbye to the writ for legal protection of fundamental rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

THE DEBATE ON THE project underway in the Congress that converts fiscal sustainability a constitutional principle was set on. In this sense, this reform has become "popular". And indeed it is, for three reasons: it is unnecessary, inconvenient, and unconstitutional.

The rains and the green

By: Mauricio García Villegas

DURING THESE DAYS of winter tragedy I wonder why we Colombians give so little importance to environmental issues and why in this country the ideas of the Green parties do not thrive.

Santos, without gender policy

By:

In one of the presidential debates last year, Sergio Fajardo asked the following question to Juan Manuel Santos: What's your proposal for women in Colombia?

Development plan and human rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

TO WHAT EXTENT does the Development Plan (PND) of government Santos, who will be discussed this week by the plenary of the Congress, take a human rights approach?

The mountains of all

By: Mauricio García Villegas

MONIQUE PERRIAUX IS A FRENCH FRIEND I have known for over twenty years. She was born and lives in Grenoble, but spent six years of her life in Colombia (between 1998 and 2006) from which she keeps many memories and an adopted son named Sebastian. Last week I met Monique and we walked through the mountains and talked about life, friends, and Colombia.

Against the "Lleras Act".

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"We build too many walls and not enought bridges" said Isaac Newton,one of the greatest creators of history. A proof of this is the draft of the "Lleras Act", which would build a formidable wall against the movement of materials and the creative internet use in the country.

The abuse of states of emergency

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

With the Constitution of 1991 we Colombians overcame the permanent exceptionalism lived with the Constitution of 1886, as shown by the first report of Dejusticia on the 20 years of the Charter.

About confession and forgiveness

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When I was little, in the previous days of Easter (as these that have just gone) something extraordinary happened within families: older men went to church to confess their sins.

Medieval sexual aberrations

By:

The sexual assaults of a. El Taladro at the Sierra Nevada question us aboout sexual consent of girls in areas under the control of a barbarian armed group.

The Inspector General against the WHO

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE Inspector General may have his own view on abortion.

Corruption as the norm

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN THE SEVENTIES A group of economists argued that, in certain stages of country development, corruption is not only inevitable but is a beneficial disease. It's a kind of social fever that may be necessary to achieve modernization.

What money shouldn't buy

By:

The case of the Nule reveals how in Colombia all things can be obtained with a good deal of money and influence. Is it possible to prevent this kind of story from being repeated?

Love stories against racism

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

FINALLY there is an open debate on race and racism in Colombia. It all began with a love story.

Social division of mourning

By: Mauricio García Villegas

ON THE OCCASION OF THE murder of judge Gloria Constanza Gaona the president of Judicial Asonal, Mr Nelson Cantillo, complained this week that, except for the condolences he received from his colleagues in the Judiciary (and one more from the mayor of Medellin) no one from the government or other public or private entity regretted the fact before Asonal.

Justice attacked, indifferent citizenship

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

WE SHOULD disguise the judges of owls and maybe that way their murder would move the country, wrote to me indignantly Diego Bolivar, an official of the Lara Bonilla Judicial School, three days after the murder of judge Constance Gloria Gaona in Saravena.

The unfortunate Afrocolombian uprooting

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

While in 2008 Afrocolombians were 16% of the forcibly displaced population, in late 2010 they became 23%.

Parochial feeling

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Earlier this year I wrote a column in which I criticized the national anthems. I said that almost all of them had lost the basic connection they once had with reality and therefore seemed anachronic and even ridiculous. The columnist Daniel Mera Villamizar disagreed with this view and this week answered in these pages.

Less baby hitman's than you think

By: Carolina Bernal

The proposal to toughen the System of Criminal Responsability for Adolescents seems more a populist strategy than a response to the reality of the criminal phenomenon of juvenile.

Black certified

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I was fortunate to read Héctor Abad's recent column on race and racism after visiting the Apartheid Museum, here in Johannesburg. My bewilderment was profound.

Stoicism and discipline in Japan

By: Mauricio García Villegas

OF THE MANY terrible images that have circulated on the accumulation of disasters that occurred this week in Japan, there is one that draws my attention: a video shot inside a supermarket during the earthquake, in which employees are seen holding shelves that swing from side to side, ready to collapse and from which bottles, tins, and all sorts of products fall, amid a deafening noise and a shaky floor in which they can hardly balance. How is it possible that these employees do not go running? That they stay calm? That they don't even shout?

Are they ruining Soho?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

With pictures of a transsexual and a critique of the Catholic pedophilia the magazine seems to have let down its readers.

Electoral census without abstainers

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE ARTICLE of the political reform that eliminates abstainers from the electoral census is unconstitutional and exclusionary.

Educational apartheid in Bogotá

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Laura Quiroz López

Education should create cultural capital and encourage social mobility. However, when rich and poor study in separate schools and there is great difference in the quality of their formation, school only serves to perpetuate social hierarchies. Results of a careful study of the case of Bogota.

Simulate what we are not

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN THE LABYRINTH OF SOLITUDE, Octavio Paz says that simulation is one of the forms of habitual behavior of Mexicans.

Real flowers on women's day

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

What we need is not a day to reinforce stereotypes, but a day to remember that we have equal rights.

Frivolous readers or frivolous media?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Daniel Samper Pizano published in El Tiempo on Sunday a column about the banality of the readers preferred news of this newspaper.

Power asymmetries in Street 93 with 13

By: Yukyan Lam

The process of applying for a Colombian visa has several obstacles that make it fun for people who enjoy suspense. Imagine being one of them.

Technology and democracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When my children were young, a few years ago, we used to have a conversation called "what did not exist when .... "

Homosexual families and homophobias

By: Luz María Sánchez Duque

All ethical arguments against homosexual marriage and adoption show that the problem is not homosexual people, but prejudice against them.

Egalitarian adoption

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

CONTRARY to what many think, those who advocate the adoption by same-sex couples are not the ones who must prove that this possibility is legitimate. Instead those who oppose it should explain why it is inadmissible.

The two Spains

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This week marks 30 years of the failed military coup of February 23, 1981 in Spain, most known as the coup of 23-F.

More than a black skin color

By:

Finally there's an open discussion on racial issues in Cartagena, which announces other discussions in the rest of the country.

More than a black skin color

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Finally there's an open discussion on racial issues in Cartagena, which announces other discussions in the rest of the country.

Geography and the Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas

COLOMBIA is a country that has been conceived, organized and managed from the mountains.

The "teacher " who does not teach

By: Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

The English Teacher reaffirms why Colombia is so happy but so unfair.

Presidents and drugs

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Cesar Gaviria's path from prohibition summarizes the position that many presidents and officials have had on this subject.

Egypt and the Polo Democrático

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Some months ago I wrote a column in which I questioned the attitude of certain leaders of the Polo Democrático (political party) who criticize the project of land restitution of the current government ...

Better parapolitician that thief?

By: Carolina Bernal

On account of corruption and special regimes, the country's prisons are stratified: while ordinary offenders live in stratum one seclusions, parapoliticians and other powerful prisoners enjoy the conditions of stratum six.

The Green Party, a mammal in evolution

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Are the needs for consensus, consultation and less rapid pace of the greens typical signs that they are moving on or that they are vermin and split?

Egypt: the revolution will be tweeted

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

SOMETHING NEW IS HAPPENING IN EGYPT: for the first time a regional revolution is live televised by its actors.

Figures of racial discrimination

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

We urge an in-depth discussion on how many Afrocolombians there are, because not even the 2005 Census cleared doubts.

Egypt's crossroads

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Egypt, there's a traditional song that ends with these words: "Fortunately we have Islam. "

Coca leaf and racism

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It is unfortunate that three democracies, which in many respects are admirable, like the U.S., Sweden and the UK, oppose Bolivia's proposal to legalize internationally the chewing of coca leaves also know as mambeo.

Against national anthems

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In my school there was a history professor which argued that the Colombian national anthem was the most beautiful in the world after the Marseillaise.

Threatening kisses

By: Annika Dalén

It is very difficult to conceive that two women that kiss each other, without hurting anyone, can be considered an act that deserves punishment.

Supernatural or natural disasters?

By:

It's time to hear with more humility those who do know about the environment. Even lawyers should have basic knowledge of ecology.

Music for chameleons

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

EITHER THE GREEN PARTY REJECTS the support of Uribe, or they say outright that they abandon the project they sold to 3.5 million voters.

Moral imagination

By: Mauricio García Villegas

LAST JANUARY 12, before the victims of the slaughter of Tucson, Arizona, President Obama gave one of the most moving speeches of his career (full of eloquent speeches.)

Hallucinatory arguments

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE THREE REASONS given by the drug czar of the United States, Gil Kerlikowske, to oppose any form of legalization, according to his interview on Sunday in El Tiempo, are hallucinatory.

Delusions

By: Mauricio García Villegas

We columnists are constantly looking for amazing facts or ideas that help us draw the reader out from their own lethargy of the views he reads every day.

The problem is not the milk bag

By:

The discussion of unemployment, informality and real incomes of workers should go far beyond the minimum wage increase.

Santos, Roosevelt and the Social Pact

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

SOCIAL CRISIS HAVE TWO positive effects: they strip structures of human collectivities and they shake conventional wisdom.

Twitter, insults and imprisonment

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The threat of jail is not the most appropriate way to resolve disputes created in Twitter.

The black hole of the golden triangle

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In this country economic development, as almost everything else, is uneven.

Intellectual Property finally released (II)

By: Vivian Newman Pont

"It is better not to believe dreams, even less those one has on Decemeber 28 (April Fools Days)".

Democracy and public discussion

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A significant impact brought by the change of president has been some rehabilitation of public discussion and dissent. In these days when balances of the ending year are being done and wishes for the commencing year are being formulated, we should highlight the democratic importance of this new political atmosphere.

Intellectual Property finally released

By: Vivian Newman Pont

Today I discovered that the law that legalizes the reproduction of intellectual property was finallly approved.

Economics and poetry

By: Mauricio García Villegas

WILLIAM OSPINA AND ALEJANDRO Gaviria are two prominent Colombian intellectuals, the former a poet and the latter an economist.

Environmental justice and floods

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THIS RUNAWAY WINTER doesn't affect everyone equally. For some of us it represents a slight discomfort.

Unforgiving nature?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

WHEN WE'RE HEALTHY, we think our body is invincible; but when we suffer an illness or an accident, we understand that all we are depends on the performance of a few organs, valves and bones that keep us standing.

What is Uribe afraid of?

By: Yukyan Lam

Bodyguards did not stop the student who approached the former President Alvaro Uribe to deliver a paper. It is an order that calls him to testify in the civil case against the Drummond mining power.

The Indians of Vargas Llosa

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

WINNING A NOBEL PRIZE IS DYING a bit: the peaks to conquer are depleted and one acquires the beatific aura of perfection that is only recognized to the deceased.

Friends and cuisine

By: Mauricio García Villegas

AT THE ENTRY OF THE PASTRY Arlequin in Bogota, there's a sign that says: "Eating and drinking holds body and soul together".

The challenges of the new Attorney General

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Viviane Morales will not have much time to celebrate her election as Attorney General since the challenges she will have to face are varied and difficult. It is impossible to analyze them all in one column, reason why I will highlight the four challenges that seem most important.

Wikileak and international order

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many are worried about the fate the current international order may face with the publication, realized by the organization Wikileaks, of thousands of diplomat cables from the Unites States.

Drug policy and prison situation in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

This paper demonstrates how drug policy in the country tended to a progressive hardening along the twentieth century and, notwithstanding, failed to be effective in reducing supply and in combating organized crime networks dedicated to trafficking. In contrast, they have had a major impact on the prison system and in the lives of thousands of people who have lost their liberty due to drug-related crimes.

The Supreme Court: sheep or wolf?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

URIBE'S SUPPORT TO THE ASYLUM of his intelligence director rounded the image of the Supreme Court that he and his followers had wanted to sell the country: that of a partisan court, composed of judges whose robes are just the sheepskin covering ferocious wolf politicians.

Educational apartheid

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Social life depends, to a large extent, on the achievement of people's basic expectations: buy a house, get a retirement, educate their children. All these are reasons that people have to live in society and accept its game rules.

Early childhood education: law and investment

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

There are few investments as just and economically effective as public expenditure to provide an early and qualified education to children from poor and discriminated families.

Abortion and life

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IT IS HARD TO ASSEMBLE A serious public policy discussion with people that only obey their religious convictions.

What if the British had colonized us?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito, César Rodríguez Garavito

THAT IS THE QUESTION THAT Marianne Ponsford launches in SoHo.

For a serious discussion

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I always read with interest Alejandro Gaviria' op-eds and I share his concern for improving the quality of national public debate, too biased by opinions that, as he says, "confuse experience with militancy, discourse with analysis, and consistency with paranoia. "

The Palace of Justice and the 1910 reform

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

By a strange irony, last week held both the 100 years of the constitutional reform of 1910 and the 25 years of the double occupation of the Palace of Justice.

Conservative anti-elitism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It's a long list of reasons that help explain the recent electoral defeat of President Obama.

Medicines: secret business

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In three months, this administration has done more to address the health crisis than what Uribe did in eight years.

The game of life

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN THE GAME OF LIFE, Daniel Santos sang as follows: "Four doors are open / For those who have no money / The hospital and the jail / The church and the cemetery."

Colombia's challenges as a mining country

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Determining if the mining boom will be a tragedy or an opportunity will depend on the way Colombia deals with the challenges it poses.

A certificate of prison availability?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The government presented two weeks ago a bill on public safety that increases penalties and limits the possibility of release from prison.

More about race and independence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN MY OP-ED last week I spoke of Columbus Day and tried to explain the significance for Latin America of the Spanish conquest and how much we are still tied to the colonial world.

What is missing in Santos' glass case?

By: Vivian Newman Pont

In order for the glass case, launched by President Santos last October 6, to operate it needs to be filled with content.

Race and independence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This weeks celebration of Columbus Day, just in the Bicentenary year, is an event of great importance, which accumulates all our colonial and republican history on the same date.

Royalties: a citizen debate

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Many citizens are not interested in discussions on public finances, such as the one on mining and petroleum royalties, because they seem boring and technical.

Overall

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Columnists are not only critical but receive criticism in droves.

Reelection and democracy

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The Constitutional Court rendered a great service to Colombian democracy by preventing the second immediate presidential reelection.

Success and silences of the health reform

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

LAST WEEK, WHILE the media chased the judicial new of the moment, the Government proposed the most important health reform in 17 years, which maintains the model of Law 100 of 1993 but makes key adjustments.

In search of a transformative and participatory concept of reparations in the context of transitional justice.

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

This article aims to help overcome some of the limitations of the prevailing transitional justice approach. on one hand, the article seeks to address the tensions between distributive and corrective justice in the reparations of massive human rights violations through the idea of "transformative reparations". On the other hand, the article attempts to overcome the risks that arise from failing to acknowledge the victims' voice.

Information: in a crystal box?

By: Vivian Newman Pont

On this 28th of September, International Day of the right to know, the access to public information in Colombia fails the test.

The duty of remembrance

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Czech writer Milan Kundera expressed the duty societies have to remember the atrocities in a beautiful phrase from one of his characters: "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

Memory relief

By: Mauricio García Villegas

SOMETIMES you get the impression that societies, like people, have their temperament, their personality. Some are lively and spontaneous, others are secretive and impenetrable, some disciplined and obedient and others impulsive and creative.

The Pacific of Santos

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

PASSING BY La Toma, Cauca, is rubbing a bomb about to explode. Down in the distance are the town of Suarez and the Salvajina reservoir, which in 1985 displaced and changed forever the life of black communities that have inhabited the area for nearly four centuries.

Sex and poverty

By: Mauricio García Villegas

To understand a criminal code it is less important to know the crimes than to know how they are ordered according to crime severity, from the most serious to the most soft one.

Land reform and restitution

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The draft law on land reform proposed by the Government should be complemented with other instruments if the goal is a true transformation of agrarian relations.

The art of banning

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Parents know very well that when it comes to banning something it is better to remain silent than to impose a sanction that children will not comply or that they will not be able to impose.

Judicial reform and public discussion

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It is good that the Government is open to hear comments on its proposal for judicial reform, as evidenced by the fact that this week it called a "table of justice" to discuss the reform with the participation of representatives of the Judicial Branch, political parties, universities and some civil society organizations.

Victims law, second time's a charm?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The three major arguments against the victims law actually are nothing but excuses to refuse an act of justice. Will the new government do what its predecessor declined to do?

What to do with the Supreme Judicial Council?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Inadequacy of the Government proposals to reform the Supreme Judicial Council.

Against Facebook

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

JUAN GABRIEL VASQUEZ published last Friday the best critique I know of social networks.

Picture of pain

By: Mauricio García Villegas

BY THESE DAYS I have been following the fate of the 33 Chilean miners of the Atacama Desert.

On the International Day of the Disappeared

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

YESTERDAY, August 30th, was the "International Day of the Disappeared."

Land and Bicentennial

By: Mauricio García Villegas

To the surprise of all Colombians, the Minister of Agriculture has said the government wants to put forward an agrarian reform.

Help me and I'll help you (or helped you?)

By: Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

The election of judges of the National Electoral Council will be a good opportunity to understand if political tradition weighs more than hope of change. Will the government and the coalition support the Party of National Integration?

The myths of the paper book

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

THE MOMENT FAR more revealing of the Bogotá Book Fair was the greeting of Nicholas Negroponte, the internet guru, when beginning his lecture as special guest:

Details of democracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN SOCIETIES THAT HAVE Latino heritage, like ours, there is a particular liking for abstract discussions.

Wikileaks in the Constitutional Court

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

It is not convenient for the Constitutional Court that confidential information about ongoing cases continues leaking.

New drug policy?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

I WISH PRESIDENT SANTOS would rethink the drug policy and abandon the fundamentalism that characterized the previous government, which froze the debate on this issue for eight years.

Presidential inauguration and protocol

By: Mauricio García Villegas

DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION OF Juan Manuel Santos, Armando Benedetti, the new Senate president, began his speech by lamenting that Colombia was one of the most unequal countries in the world.

The Inspector General's crusade

By: Annika Dalén

Voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the three extreme circumstances is part of human rights. Therefore, its guarantee and assurance is responsibility of the Inspector General, like it or not.

Time for equal marriage rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The time has come for the Constitutional Court to decide the right to marriage of same-sex couples.

The people grateful with Uribe

By: Mauricio García Villegas

TODAY, LAST DAY OF WORK OF President Uribe, the most popular governor in recent decades, I am reminded of the following sentence from Plutarch:

Judicial reform: Uribe compared to Santos

By: Miguel La Rota

Some of Santos proposals are debatable and can be problematic. However, the tone of the new president is different from the one Uribe used and could allow reasoned debate.

The laws of justice and peace

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In recent weeks, the government has claimed the "Law of Justice and Peace" (LJP) because it believes it has contributed in achieving peace while respecting victim rights.

Road Intelligence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

BY THESE DAYS there is an advertising campaign which talks about the epidemic of excuses that we Colombians call on when we are in public thoroughfares. "There are behaviors that make us act irrationally," says the advertisement, and to avoid them "we must use our road intelligence."

Gay marriage: The devil is in the details

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I ONCE WROTE THAT THE charm that Argentina has for Colombians is much more than football, BBQ's or the beauty of Buenos Aires and the country in general.

Countries and butterflies

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When a child asks how long a horse lives, some old people in Antioquia still answer this: see millet, a chicken lives three years, a dog three chickens, a horse three dogs and a human three horses, count yourself. I thought of this explanation last weekend when celebrating the Bicentennial. And how long does a country lives?

The white man's burden

By: Annika Dalén

The self-imposed "white man's burden" in the twenty-first century is no longer civilize uncivilized and savage peoples from afar, but to save the poor Muslims from ignorance and tyranny of their own culture.

Independence: pending tasks

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

TODAY JULY 20th, the day we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the "Grito de Independencia", it is worthwhile to ask ourselves whether or not the challenges faced by the first generation of Colombians are still pending.

The sin of ingratitude

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Ingrid Betancourt's intention to sue the State produced an avalanche of reactions against her.

Where is the Green Party?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

IN 1911, ROBERT MICHELS formulated one of the most popular thesis in political science: the "iron law of oligarchy." According to this thesis, political parties have an inescapable destiny: to become bureaucratic machines dominated by leaders who, sooner or later, forget the bases.

Ingrid Betancourt: difference or indifference?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d, Nelson Camilo Sánchez

It produces a distaste that her expectation is a very high economic compensation instead of proclaiming a broader and more universal repair for millions of victims in Colombia.

The politically correct language

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In my op-ed last week I said it was absurd that the World Cup referees saw less well than the match viewers.

Referee errors and law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

DOES LAW HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY about how to deal with the obvious referee errors committed in this World Cup, such as Lampard's goal against Germany?

One-eyed referees

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Suppose your son is playing the final of an intercollegiate soccer championship and when everything is ready to get started you find out the referee is missing an eye. How would you react?

Without tits there's no law

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

EIGHT POWERFUL ARGUMENTS convinced the congressman to approve the Fanny Mikey Act which protects the copyright of Colombian actors.

Illusions memorial

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Every four years, after the presidential elections, we Colombians participate in a sort of collective rite where hope is renewed.

Santos and justice

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In his first statement after winning the elections, President-elect Santos referred to the Colombian justice system in terms quite reassuring.

A barracks and a convent

By: Mauricio García Villegas

SIMON BOLIVAR is attributed the following sentence: "Ecuador is a convent, Colombia is a university, and Venezuela is a barracks." Now that we are in the Bicentennial celebration and on the eve of the election of a new president, perhaps it is worth wondering the value of the Liberator's phrase.

The justice of the new president

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

A scene seems to be a replica of the other.

Erasers and memory pills

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last Tuesday, the Third Specialized Judge of Bogota was ready to read the condemnatory sentence against Colonel Plazas ...

Security, legality and democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

Worse than hell

By: Mauricio García Villegas

THE HOPE OF LIFE IN COLOMBIA is 75 years. This means that a citizen can participate in 14 presidential elections over its existence.

The vote, the fear and the hope

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"People respond more to fear than love" said Richard Nixon long ago, explaining why his political campaigns sought to sow doubts and fears in the electorate.

The devil doing wafers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A GOOD way to end with a reasonable rule is to require its compliance relentlessly, even in the most absurd situations.

Governments and judicial independence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN ENGLAND, BEHIND the humblest of judges is always the powerful British Navy.

Atheism and evil

By: Mauricio García Villegas

IN COLOMBIA many people believe that atheists are people who are closer to evil than what believers are.

Vicepresidency and Human Rights policy

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The role of the vice president is crucial in the implementation of human rights public policy. Are the current candidates aware of this?

What Uribe leaves to Afro-Colombians

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

PAST WEEK BEGAN Afro-Colombians. Although just and necessary, the celebration has become an annual show which leaves them to the black population.

Santos' slyness

By: Mauricio García Villegas

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS SAYS that the cradle of his campaign in which someone imitates the voice of President Uribe, calling to vote for him, is nothing else than "pure sly."

Drug trafficking as a crime against humanity?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

IN RECENT DAYS, President Uribe stated a new thesis: drug trafficking should be considered a crime against humanity.

Doubt and political honesty

By: Mauricio García Villegas

People who never hesitate produce me distrust. Thats why I like Nietzsche's aphorism that says, "its not doubt but certainty what makes people crazy."

Disabled horse

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

MANY ARE outraged, rightly, for Uribe's statements warning that "little effort of a disabled horse" is not sufficient to ensure safety. They denounced, also rightly, illegal invasion in politics that involves the indirect policy against the Green Party candidate, who has suffered worst attacks in these days.

Colombia, land of lawyers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This transcendental legal profession has been largely unregulated and, in addition, poorly regulated. How much should it be intervened?

With an evil face

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminal lawyer of the nineteenth century, was famous for his theory of "born criminal."

It wasn't me, it was the State

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

An "act of state" does not relieve the responsibility of those who, while carrying it out, violate human rights.

The disappeared and the presidential campaign

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Forced disappearance is terrible; any given day, a person is violently stolen from its environment and loses all trace.

The sins of the soul

By: Mauricio García Villegas

THE CHURCHMAN ALFONSO LLANO IN his column last week, undertook it against those who criticize the Church for its negligent attitude towards pedophile priests.

What Uribe leaves to indigenous people

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

THE MINISTER Valencia Cossio travels to New York to participate in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which started yesterday. Curious.

The Catholic Church and the pederasts

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

It is very important that the Church reports to justice the allegations of sexual abuse by priests so that they can be judged.

Polo and the Greens

By: Mauricio García Villegas

People do not always vote for what is best for them. If so, poor Colombians, who are more than half of the population, would come in droves to vote for the left, which promises a serious social justice policy. Moreover, we know that President Uribe, whose government has favored the rich and very little, if anything, the poor, is more popular in social stratum one and two than in five and six. Then, what reason have the people to vote?

(In)accuracies about the Klein case

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Like many Colombians, I share the outrage that Klein, a mercenary who trained paramilitary groups, can not be extradited from Russia.

Remember the past

By: Mauricio García Villegas

THIS YEAR US COLOMBIANS elect a new president and also celebrate two hundred years of our independence.

Mental conflicts

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The opportunistic contradictions of the Government on the existence of an armed conflict affects the victims and the international defense of the state.

Uribism against the Constitutional Court

By: Miguel La Rota

The President's coalition prepares another assault on the Constitutional Court. Who can defend her?

Mockus, the Colombian Obama?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

At first glance, they couldn't be more different: Mockus' arrhythmic paleness seems the antithesis of the charismatic cadence of the African American. But the Mockus phenomenon can be the creole equivalent of the Obama phenomenon. Furthermore, with the appropriate union with Fajardo, it has a chance of ending up like in the U.S.: replacing a venial and polarizer government for a moderate and transparent one.

Easter and Bicentennial

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I THINK THIS YEAR'S EASTER is a good time to think of the Bicentenary of Independence.

Presidential election: for a national debate agenda

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION should not only be the selection of the ruler, but also a space for public deliberation of collective affairs since this strengthens democracy and makes possible a more just society.

Available brain time

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The best evidence of T.V.'s great power is that it is never forced to question what it does.

The Congress we deserve?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

After the parliamentary elections, everybody enlists their bets for the presidential ones. But before starting the next race, it is worth pausing a second to think about the kind of Congress we will have from July 20 and what we can expect the next four years.

Bittersweet elections

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I AGREE WITH THOSE WHO, on the one hand, rejoice for the triumph of the Green Party in the elections of last Sunday but, on the other hand, worry about the results of the PIN . In this op-ed I would like to add something to this bittersweet balance.

The centenary of the constitutional reform of 1910

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THIS YEAR IS NOT ONLY the bicentennial of our independence but also the centennial of the 1910 constitutional reform, one of the most important, least studied and least remembered in our history.

At least honest people

By: Mauricio García Villegas

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, having good laws or having good rulers? Greeks discussed this 25 centuries ago.

From buses to banks: who controls private power?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

FOUR DAYS LOST BY A STRIKE, multiplied by millions of people. That's what Bogotá just experienced, a city besieged not by old pirates but by transport buccaneers.

Moving on

By: Mauricio García Villegas

NOW that the judicial decision on the referendum has been taken, after many months of uncertainty, it is natural that public opinion, especially Uribe's followers, wants to forget the recent past to concentrate on the presidential campaign with the obvious frenzy a three month electoral debate produces.

Pending debt to women

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

A tribute in their International Day would be going against the impunity of sexual violence in armed conflict.

The Constitutional Court as a democracy guarantor

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

IN GENERAL, the Constitutional Court's decision that annulled the re-election referendum has been welcomed. Yet,some commentators, such as Alfredo Rangel, have questioned it for obstructing people's participation. Basically, it seems an undemocratic decision.

The costs of Uribe's electoral system

By: Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

In recent years the coalition that supports President Uribe in Congress took three decisions that will result in political impunity and lack of discipline in these elections.

Democracy and the referendum's failure

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE DECISION of the Constitutional Court, which prevented the referendum from going on, was legally predictable and very significant for Colombian democracy because it protected the Rule of Law and ensured a fairer electoral competition.

Easy case

By: Mauricio García Villegas

WHEN writing this op-ed, the Court's decision on the referendum is yet unknown. Since I can't talk about it, I will discuss judicial work.

Will the referendum fail to be approved 7-2 in the Constitutional Court?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Two weeks ago, I published an op-ed that predicted the fall of the referendum on the Constitutional Court with a 7-2 vote based due to procedural vices. As the decision approaches, everyone is making their bets on the final result of the Court.

The abuse of words

By: Mauricio García Villegas

THE CLOSURE OF THE MAGAZINE Cambio has produced social and political reactions of all kinds.

Paradisiacal diplomacy

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The allegations against retired General Mario Montoya question once more the integrity of Colombian foreign service.

An unhealthy emergency

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE USE OF THE "SOCIAL EMERGENCY" (a judicial instrument) to address the serious problems of the health system, many of them structural, is very unhealthy for the Colombian democracy.

Sick democracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO health is one of the most crucial and sensitive issues there is in contemporary societies. That's why it arouses so much controversy and interest in public opinion.

Expiration of terms: a misguided debate

By: Miguel La Rota

The angry reactions to the release of soldiers due to the expiration of terms are dangerous and obscure other more serious problems.

Referendum sentence

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The referendum has its days counted. Carried by the weight of its own vices, it is in freefall in the Constitutional Court while fulfilling the only law that it has not infringed: that of gravity.

Master's and PhD degrees

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Colombia, agreements to ensure academic mediocrity without leaving the oratory of excellence are common. Especially now that obtaining master's and PhD degrees became fashionable.

The Inspector General and electoral guarantees

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

IN MY PREVIOUS OP-ED I criticized the Inspector General's concept in regards to the re-election referendum due to his analysis of the breach of the funding caps in the collection of signatures. Several readers asked me to discuss other defects of the concept.

Haiti and global prevention of disasters

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

There is something that can be added to the reflections and actions that have derived from the Haitian tragedy: the lack of coordination to meet the victims' needs and the sense of lawlessness on the island.

Students as informers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I AM convinced that one of the worst faults of our society is indifference, if not complacency, when facing criminals.

A plan against racism

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

THE CURIOUS photo of President Uribe receiving in his farm the U.S. State Deputy, James Steinberg, has filled up the newspapers these days. What has not been discussed is an agreement signed at the meeting which may be significant for millions of Afro-Colombian and indigenous discrimination victims.

Too many fines and few collection

By: Mauricio García Villegas

These days, I took a cab to go downtown. The driver was one of those who like to talk. He asked me if I had news of the strike. What strike?, I said. The transport strike, he replied.

The concept of the Solicitor General.

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S CONCEPT on the re-election referendum is, from a strictly legal point of view, very poor because of serious methodological flaws, serious regulatory improprieties, logical inconsistencies, and a risky constitutional philosophy for those who defend the Rule of Law.

Reductio ad absurdum

By: Mauricio García Villegas

POLITICAL POSITIONS have their typical ways of interpreting the Constitution.

Chavez and the U.S. bases

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Chavez's reaction to the loan of Colombian bases to the US was predictable. Yet, the reaction of the Colombian government was very surprising.

Albert Camus today

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

YESTERDAY, JANUARY 4th, was the 50th anniversary of the senseless death in a traffic accident of the theorist of the absurd, the French writer, and philosopher Albert Camus.

Forced diet

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The world reached a frightening number of people living with extreme hunger which nobody seems to care.

Sin and forgiveness

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Christmas times I always think that all religions, like people, have their strengths and their weaknesses.

Copenhagen and the environmental justice

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

THE RESULTS of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference are disappinting.

Without planet B

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many of humanity's political changes have been generated by fear rather than ideas. Nowadays, current countries face a danger that comes from themselves, from their productive activity and the deterioration it causes in the environment.

Save a life at Christmas

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Peter Singer argues that people can and should donate much more and thus could eliminate poverty in the world.

Radicalized opponents

By: Miguel La Rota

The rhetoric of some government opponents show defects similar to those of the President.

Uribe and the pettifoggers revenge

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Uribe's country is one of lawyers. But one full of evil lawyers that are shrewd and disdain the Constitution and the law.

Desobey or not-comply

By: Mauricio García Villegas

For us (colombians) the offender does not comply with the Law, whereas for others he disobeys it. I ask myself whether that difference says something about the way we are (and that of the Spaniards).

Judicial independence and democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The visit of Gabriela Knaul de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, to Colombia is an excelent opportunity for us to think about this issue which affects us all.

The importance of the Attorney General

By: Miguel La Rota, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The confrontation between the Supreme Court and the President over the election of the Attorney has been going on for several months and it may appear to be a boring soap opera. Yet, the issue is extremely serious due to the consequences it has for the country.

Lunatic Passion

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The campaign "Colombia is Passion" tends to promote an insignificant patriotism of tricolored bracelets and red hearts.

Watch your step

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Nowadays everybody is talking about Colombia's dreadful world record on anti-personnel mines.

Internal displacement and local budgets

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Neither the local nor the National government are upholding their constitutional duties regarding those who have been internally displaced.

More is less

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Frequently, the excess of something doesn't give us more of what we wanted but instead takes away from us what we had. This is the case of the "How do I drive?" sign.

Women: unprotected victims

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The International Day for the elimination of violence against women is celebrated tomorrow November 25. In this context, the adjustment of the victims and witness protection program is essential since the risks women face still persist.

Demo-plutocracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Abraham Lincoln said "democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people". With this definition, Lincoln wanted to distance himself from plutocracy, which is the government of the rich for the rich.

Beauty pageant's foretold death

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The falling ratings of the beauty pageant's show proofs that it is in danger of extintion. As it happens with bullfighting, there is no need to criticize it nor file lawsuits for it to fall into oblivion. Nonetheless, this years lawsuit filed by Valle's beauty queen added up an extra ingredient.

The world upside down

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Ironically, the right wing rulers of this country complain that they are besieged and mistreated by left wing progressive judges and lawyers.

Does President Uribe want the CPIs intervention in Colombia?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

I suspect that President Uribe wants the International Criminal Court to intervene in Colombia. That would explain his constant attacks to the Supreme Court and his refusal to present a viable list of three candidates so that one can be chosen for the Attorney General's post

Brazil and Latin America

By: Mauricio García Villegas

How can we explain the extraodinary progress of this country and why the rest of Latin America still lags far behind?

Don't privatize the beaches

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

President Uribe proposed to offer management contracts of beaches to private contractors, starting with the ones in Cartagena. Hoteliers applauded the news and are already working on it

Abortion and citizenship

By: Helena Alviar García

Abortion opponents seek to preserve the reproductive role of women, regardless of their Rights, autonomy or the right to life

Conflict between the Supreme Court and the Disciplinary Chamber of the Judiciary, a separate clash

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Miguel La Rota

The conflict has new elements and, paradoxically, the Constitutional Court can emerge stronger after all. El reciente enfrentamiento entre la Corte Suprema de Justicia y la Sala Disciplinaria del Consejo Superior de la Judicatura expresa en realidad dos disputas diferentes. Una corresponde al ya conocido "choque de trenes" entre las altas cortes por la tutela contra decisiones judiciales. A ese viejo debate se suman dos elementos nuevos: las investigaciones sobre la 'parapolítica' y las sospechas de que la Sala Disciplinaria no es un tribunal independiente sino fuertemente influido por la coalición gubernamental. El órgano que debería resolver el lío es la Corte Constitucional, que se podría ver fortalecida institucionalmente. Veamos esos embrollos. El viejo choque de trenes La disputa entre las cortes por la tutela contra sentencias lleva años. El origen del debate es que la Corte Suprema considera que sus sentencias son definitivas y no pueden ser revisadas por nadie, mientras que la Corte Constitucional argumenta que, en casos muy excepcionales, una eventual revisión por tutela es necesaria, porque los jueces pueden violar derechos fundamentales y debe existir un órgano (la propia Corte Constitucional) que unifique la interpretación de esos derechos. Según el decreto 1382 del 2000, la misma Corte Suprema debía decidir las tutelas contra sus sentencias. Así, la Sala Penal estudiaba las tutelas contra las decisiones de la Laboral; la Laboral, las de la Civil; y la Civil, aquellas de la Penal. Y una vez decididas, las tutelas debían ser enviadas a la Corte Constitucional para su eventual revisión. Pero la Corte Suprema se negó a tramitar las tutelas interpuestas contra sus sentencias, lo cual dejaba en el limbo a los peticionarios, cuyas solicitudes no eran siquiera estudiadas. Frente a esa situación, la Corte Constitucional respondió, en 2004 (autos 04 y 011), permitiendo que la Sala Disciplinaria estudiara las tutelas contra las decisiones de la Corte Suprema. Ese fue el momento más duro del enfrentamiento entre las cortes. Desde entonces, los ánimos habían bajado y hubo acercamientos. Varias salas de la Corte Suprema empezaron a estudiar el fondo de las tutelas interpuestas contra las sentencias de ese tribunal. Por su parte, la Corte Constitucional modificó su reglamento y señaló que las tutelas contra sentencias de la Corte Suprema o del Consejo de Estado serían decididas por la Sala Plena, esto es, por los nueve magistrados y no por salas de tres, como se había hecho en el pasado. La Corte Constitucional enfatizaba así que sólo muy excepcionalmente dejaría sin efecto, por tutela, una decisión de la Corte Suprema. Pero la Sala Civil de la Corte Suprema sigue sin tramitar las tutelas contra las decisiones de la Sala Penal. Son justamente estas tutelas las que llegaron a la Sala Disciplinaria y que produjeron la actual controversia. Si la Sala Civil las hubiera tramitado, el asunto habría sido decidido por la propia Corte Suprema, con la eventual revisión de la Corte Constitucional. En cierto sentido, la Corte Suprema ha sido víctima de esa negativa de su propia Sala Civil. Los nuevos elementos Ahora la cosa se complica por las investigaciones de la parapolítica y la recomposición de la sala disciplinaria. Las tutelas de la Sala Disciplinaria que han generado el actual enfrentamiento favorecen a miembros de la coalición del Gobierno o a procesados por la 'parapolítica'. La primera ordenó modificar la sentencia de la Corte Suprema que había mencionado al ministro Diego Palacios como partícipe del delito de la 'Yidispolítica'. La segunda anuló el proceso que la Sala Penal seguía contra Iván Díaz Mateus y ordenó su libertad. Y la última, que disparó la polémica, revocó la condena de la Corte Suprema contra la representante a la Cámara Sandra Arabella Velásquez y la dejó en libertad. Es cierto que la Sala Disciplinaria ha proferido otras decisiones que niegan una tutela a acusados o condenados por la parapolítica, pero lo anterior no ha sido suficiente para frenar la especulación sobre la cercanía de ese tribunal a la coalición de Gobierno. La Sala Disciplinaria está compuesta por magistrados que son nombrados por el Congreso de ternas del Presidente. Todos los magistrados actuales fueron recientemente elegidos y, según investigaciones académicas y periodísticas, el principal criterio para seleccionarlos fue su adscripción partidista: cada partido de la coalición de Gobierno propuso una o dos ternas y el Presidente las aceptó. Así, cada partido de la coalición parece tener a su magistrado en la Sala Disciplinaria. Además, Noticias Uno ha señalado que algunos de estos magistrados tienen vínculos con congresistas investigados penalmente o involucrados en la 'parapolítica'. Esta sospecha de cercanía de la Sala Disciplinaria al Congreso que la eligió se ve reforzada por algunas declaraciones de sus magistrados. Por ejemplo, Ovidio Claros, presidente de la Sala, afirmó, el día de su elección. que él siempre estaría "atento a lo que se diga en este Congreso" y concluyó: "Muchas gracias de verdad y los quiero mucho". El futuro Aún no hemos tenido acceso a varias de las tutelas proferidas por la Sala Disciplinaria. No podemos, entonces, afirmar si son o no adecuadas; pero, en todo caso, la Corte Constitucional puede (y obviamente debería) revisar esas decisiones. Por ello, si ha habido una extralimitación de la Sala Disciplinaria, la Corte Constitucional, que a pesar de su recomposición sigue mostrando notable independencia, puede atajar esos abusos y permitir que los procesos por la 'parapolítica' sigan en buen curso. El posible ganador de esta contienda puede ser, entonces, paradójicamente, alguien que por ahora no ha entrado a la confrontación: la Corte Constitucional. Su papel como intérprete último de los derechos fundamentales se puede ver consolidado.

Militant skepticism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Supposedly, Colombia is a secular country. That is, separation of Church and State. Nevertheless, in practice, it is now frequent to see more politicians behaving like priests, like President Uribe and the Inspector General.

Professors, columnists and freedom of speech

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

One of Colombia’s most important newspapers, EL TIEMPO, lost credibility when it fired one of her star columnists, Claudia López. It deprived itself from one of it's top opinion makers and considerably reduced its pluralism

Family gay

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Colombia could be close to joining the list of countries that allow adoption by same-sex couples

The Dean and the public university

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I am saying to show how old the debate over public universities is and how little progress we have accomplished in the solution of this problem.

Manual for firing columnists

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Fortunately, Héctor Abad (a recognized newspaper columnist) magnified the affair Claudia López vs. El Tiempo into the real dilemma. That is to say, to choose between a newspaper's right to fire a columnist and the columnist's freedom of expression

Journalism and politics

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Claudia Lopez' firing from El Tiempo has triggered an interesting debate over the relationship between columnists, newspapers, and readers.

Latin American identity

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Latin America will only be worldwide recognized insofar it is faithful to its mestizo and mulatto identities

Tax loopholes: Only for the rich?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The "Agro Ingreso Seguro" subsidies scandal is fully justified. However, this incident should remind us of another recurrent episode: excesive tax privileges granted by the government.

Sectarian patriotism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Winning a Nobel Prize is comparable to winning a world championship. This is the reason why when somebody receives the prize, his fellow citizens celebrate the event as a national victory.

A Court without autonomy?

By: Miguel La Rota

Whoever says the referendum case has been resolved by the Constitutional Court does not know how this Court operates.

Let "Mariamulata" alone

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Cartagena makes news again. This time it's not the trivial beauty pageant that draws our attention but, instead, Judith Pinedo's (Mariamulata) administration in the City Hall.

The impotence of words

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In society and people's life there's unfortunate moments in which differences and conflicts are resolved through aggression. Hence, usually the strongest or the one with more power wins.

The right to judicial independence

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

In situations such as the referendum, the judicial power's prestige is at risk. Because of this, the judges responsibility is superlative.

The Attorney General's election and its difficulties.

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Many Colombians must be annoyed by the confrontation between the Supreme Court and the President over the election of the Attorney General. Yet, the issue is very important.

Obama's Vietnam

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last week, Stanley McChrystal, US military commander in Afghanistan, sent President Obama a report which concluded that the situation was getting worse every day. In it, he warned Obama about insurgency growth, population mistrust of troops, and the necessity of increasing the number of soldiers in order to avoid failure.

The political "travestis"

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Some columnists have called those congressman that changed political party as "travestis". Unfortunately, it is an innappropriate term

The Presidents short lists of candidates

By: Mauricio García Villegas

President Uribe's authoritarian personality has multiple synthoms. Sometimes it's a flash of anger while in other its an abusive government style.

Inequality and democracy in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In the Social Contract, Rousseau wrote a lapidarian sentence concerning the serious effects extreme inequality has on democracy.

Obstinate individualism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many years ago, in Medellín, there was a placard in the bridge of St. 33 that said " If this isn't progress then what is it?"

Referendum and public offices

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

A sentence that deals with meritocracy will be essential when deciding if the referendum that seeks presidential re-election passes the constitutionality test.

What the hell do I care?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Anyone who has visited Buenos Aires may have noticed that the city is full of Colombian tourists and students

Reform or replacement?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

We all thought the history of abuses had been buried with the 1991 Constitution. Not true. With the referendum's approval this week, history repeated itself: the essential was replaced by the the accessory.

Paranoia and Health Plan in the U.S.

By: María Paula Saffon

In order to kill Obama's Health Plan, opponents have used sensationalist, irrational, and uninformed arguments

Uribe's re-election against Uribe

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

There's enough evidence that the Government has promised congressmen regional investment in exchange of approval of Uribe's re-election.

Héctor Abad Gómez

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The murder of two important persons of the late twentieth century is commemorated in August.

Protecting the Book Fair

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Two days after the Book Fair's closure, the controversy over the results turned hot

International Day of the World's Indigenous people

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Today, International Day of the World's Indigenous People, there is nothing to celebrate in Colombia

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The media prefers "gringas"

By: Miguel La Rota, Miguel La Rota

A judge's election in the US is more relevant for the media than the election of national (Colombia) judges.

Rule of opinion or rule of law?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

President Uribe has suggested in more than one hundred occasions that Colombia is under a "Rule of opinion", a superior stage of the Rule of law. The idea may sound beautiful, but in truth it is ambiguous and dangerous.

The outrages

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Angel Genivet, an intellectual of the '98 Generation, said that the Spaniards' ideal was to carry an official document that stated they were authorized to do anything they wanted.

Divide and re-elect yourself

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Too much has been said about the President's statement of the Rule of opinion as a higher stage of the Rule of Law.

War against latifundium

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Up to date, land distribution to peasants hasn't been seen. Instead, the State distributes it to few owners.

Politics overdose

By: Mauricio García Villegas

After three years of permanent presidential debate due to re-election, we head towards Uribe's last year in office, which is nothing else than one full of presidential debate.

Forgiveness without acknowledging guilt?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Who genuinely apologizes acknowledges his guilt. He accepts to have offended somebody or to have contributed in some way to the humiliation.

Depression and paranoia

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I once heard a psychology professor say that mental illness depends a lot of the society where one lives. For example, while in the US lots of people get depressed, in Latin America they suffer from paranoia. I have no idea what theory explains this phenomenon, but mine is as following.

Can Somebody Give Me a Hand with a Telmex Account?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The government announces the possibility of a new anti-paper law that eliminates public sector proceedings.

Celebrating the 20th of July

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last Sunday we Colombians celebrated our Independence Day.

Violence and gun availability

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Few days ago, one of Junior's soccer player, Javier Flórez, killed a fan. Apparently offended for being labeled as a bad soccer player, he used a firearm to murder his victim, Israel Cantillo.

Notaries and bad faith

By: Mauricio García Villegas

One of the singularities of being Colombian is having to deal with notaries. In Colombia, being born, negotiating, procreating, working, inheriting, and even dying are worthless without the notary's signature.

Daily treat

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In order to protect morality and good behavior, the government sends public messages of when, how, and why one should have sexual intercourse.

In Defense of Affirmative Actions

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Daniel Mera, Directive of Fundación Color, published an interesting article in El Tiempo. In it, he lashed out at all affirmative actions proposed by the Government that seek to promote Afro-Colombian inclusion in jobs, schools, and other spaces in which they have been usually discriminated.

What about the internally displaced people?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito, Diana Rodríguez Franco

It could be argued that concerning issues such as the penalty to those who displaced people from their land and land adjudication, the results are totally negative.

Hard Against Drugs

By: Mauricio García Villegas

After forty years of a fruitless drug war that started out with Richard Nixon's declaration against hippies and young libertarians of the 1960's, today, legalizing supporters are being taken into account.

Operation insistence

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Almost every Colombian knows about Operation Jaque. But only a small number knows about the discrete operation that has been going on for 25 years in Colombia: "Operation insistence".

The modest paragraph

By: Miguel La Rota

Many have ignored the fact that a paragraph contained in the Constitution could prevent Uribe from being re-elected for a second time.

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Everybody is familiar with the type of advantages an elite school or university brings along (academic preparation, networking, good jobs, ext.). Still, nobody reverses the question: what are the disadvantages of an elite education?

Fear

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I've always thought a good happiness indicator is the absence of fear

Discrimination against victims of state agents.

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Last thursday was an ambiguous day for victims of state agents since they were fully recognized by an international official and, yet, remained in the Government's misunderstanding.

The paltriness with the kidnapped.

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The kidnapped are nothing else than disposable elements in the opinion bid between the government and the guerilla.

From Cairo to Teheran

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Sixteen years ago, Samuel Huntington published "The clash of civilizations?", perhaps the most influential political text of the last two decades.

Cigarette's black smoke in Congress?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Tonight we will know what kind of smoke is breathed in the colombian Congress. There may be white smoke for two laws that would save the lives of thousands of active or passive smokers that are destined to die of lung cancer and other diseases. But it may also be black smoke coming out of cigarettes from the tobacco companies, who have mounted a powerful lobby against these laws.

The warlords path

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In various occasions, President Hugo Chavez has said that since law can be unfair, the Rule of law shall be replaced by the Social State of law and justice.

Massive displacement and dispossession

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Massive displacement and dispossession is not only a terrible humanitarian tragedy.

Well appointed judges

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Being appointed to the US Supreme Court is almost as big an honor as being buried in the Panthéon in France. The only difference is people appointed to the Court are still alive.

From Recyclers to Unwanted?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Some years ago, a recycler that wore the impeccable green overall from Cooperativa Rescatar told me: "Since I wear the uniform neither the Police nor the people that believed I was a thief punch me".

Democratic Coalition

By: Mauricio García Villegas

For a democratic country to progress it needs at least these three elements: security, social equality, and respect for the law.

Racial discrimination in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Every 21 of May, Colombians celebrate the National Day of Afro-Colombians in order to commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1851. This national day was established by the Law 975 of 2001.

The Survival of The Past

By: Mauricio García Villegas

What I believe is cultural heritage, in spite of globalization, is something more important than what economists and other believe it is. The past survives in our present days.

Uribe should stay

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Those who think that the scandals of the Security Department and the "parapolitics" are affecting the President´s closest sphere, are wrong. Uribe will stay because he has no other alternative.

The State Council and the democratic Security

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

In the case of the soldier-peasant Guzman, hurt by the guerilla, the court failed against the army because it broke the law.

The reelection against democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The main argument of the reelection referendum defenders is that it is legitimate and democratic because answers to the people's will.

People to Order

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It has been surpirsing for me how foreigners get easily used to the cold tropic that is Bogota.

Evading the abortion in the General Attorney

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

It was evident. For the elections the attorney Ordoñez promissed not to evade the sentences of the Constitutional Court, that are against his moral conceptions, but are obligatory, as well as the sentences that protect the rights of homosexuals, and the right of the woman to abort when raped, or victim of incest or her health is in risk.

Notes from Honduras: Constituent Power and Reelection

By: Diego E. López Medina

Honduras President Manuel Zelaya proposed a "fourth ballot box" for the next electoral contest. In late 2009, there will be elections for president, congress and municipal governments. The idea of the "fourth ballot box" is convening a Constituent Assembly to change the Honduran Constitution of 1982.

Uribe and the Mermaids

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Homer in the Odyssey that the Mermaids of the Mediterranean had a beautiful chant that when the sailors listened to it, they went blinded to them and finished crashed against the corals, if not they died in the place, killed by the mermaids.

Better Drug Trafficker than Gay?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The words of the spokesman reflects a persistan culture of discrimination because of the sexual orientation.

Democracy, Majorities and Deliberation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The defenders of the reelection referendum have evaded the debate in the Congress about the criticism to the constitutional reform, with the argument that this initiative has been supported by millions of Colombians, and in that sense it has to be assumed practically without discussion. The basic thesis supports the idea that in a democracy the majorities are sovereign. But the fact is not that simple.

By: María Paula Saffon

If there existed clear, public and justified criteria about the order of the ruled cases, maybe the case of "El Loro" would not have been the first chosen.

Why the colombians do not criticize?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Let me start with explaining the question.

Conscience Objection

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Priest javier Giraldo is a respectable Human Rights defender. Like most of the people who work for the vicims in Colombia, Giraldo doesn't believe in the Justice.

The Obligation of Ingratitude

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The judges and employees of the control agencies must be not only experts in their field, but also the obligation of ingratitude to those who selected them because if not ¿how would be defined their independence that is a necessary condition to develop propertly their functions?

The Pardon

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Three weeks ago, when the government decided to take out Karina form Jail to appoint her "Peace promoter" I wanted to write a column about the idea of pardon we have. I have always thought there is one of our biggest social problems.

In Eastern: Requiem for the Washington Consensus

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"The old Washington Consensus is dead", said the last week the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown before the opening of the president's meeting, G-20 in London.

Experts and Followers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When a President appoints somebody, looks for the candidate to have at least two conditions: 1)knowledge of the job and 2) loyalty to his politic cause. To find both virtues in one person is not always easy.

A minimum dose of good sense

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Government proposal of enmending the constitution to penalize the consume of drugs is tricky, overflows the legal scope of a Democratic State and would have counterproductive effects.

Children's Heroes

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A foreigner friend of mine asked me if I could recomend him any tale in spanish for his 6-year old kid.

¿The end of the Cargimagua model or the end of the Court?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Almost anything has been said about last week's key news: the non approval of the Rural Statute Law by the Constitutional Court.

The choice between freedom or security

By: Helena Alviar García

As citizens, we face tough risks when the democratic institutions deterioriate until the point of becoming another political system.

Unlawful Defenses

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The Defense Minister's statement, declaring that the attacks from Colombia to terrorists that attempt against our population, even if they are not in the national territory are lawful, is legally wrong and politically risky.

The rich people in Latin America

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The way people live and even, the way the think and feel, highly depends on what they can buy. As that simple and harsh is the social reality. That's why rich and poor from every capitalist country are similar, because they buy -or not- the same.

My cellphone was stolen and Samuel does not want to know

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I was not going to write this column. I was going to keep my silence, leaving the anger of being stolen while repeating to myself that all this happened for careless. Better said: I was going to do the same as thousands of citizens from Bogota that are stolen in the streets, whose cases the City Hall will never know and that do not have a space in a newspaper to express their feelings.

The future of the past

By: Mauricio García Villegas

If there would have to choose a couple of words to describe the national mentality, I'd say these: "short term". Here we live plunged in punctual and repetitive events that block us from the sequences, the structures and forces that produce them.

Unrational Tapping

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The phone interceptions that Security Administrative Department has made to some judges, journalist and leaders of the opposition have been doubly illegal.

Drugs and Practice Savvy

By: El Espectador

Two news articles surfaced this week about drugs. On Tuesday, the President scolded the Director of Public Prosecutions, saying that penalizing the minimum consumption of illicit drugs was not effective. He asserted that instead of repressing, we had to educate.

Colombia, Beloved Land

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The Constitutional Court has just made an ultimatum to the government so it redesigns it's Protection and Land Restitution policy.

Amazon: gratitude to the paperback books crisis

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Today I say goodbye to the paperback books. And I bet you already took that step or will do it in five or ten years.

The Sidewalks

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Everytime I go to a city or a town, I take a look on the sidewalks: how they are made, how large they are, if they have ramps or not, and so on.

The protagonist Ombudsman

By: Javier Eduardo Revelo Rebolledo

We have an Ombudsman who affirms to be commited with Human Rights without protagonism and that paradoxically is the protagonist of some scandals.

Drugs and Common Sense

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Which must be the democratic answer to the problem of Drugs and it's trafficking? That's a question with obvous importance to the Colombians.

The Suspicious

By: Mauricio García Villegas

During the French Revolution it was comunicated the famous law against suspicious.

From Cartagena to Chocó: the violence of racism.

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

In what are similar the street of the Arsenal (the fanciest of the Pink Zone in Cartagena) and the miserable borders of the Atrato River in Chocó? At first sight, in anything.

Social Impunity

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In a recent research we developed in Dejusticia about people who are used to avoid the lines in several places in Bogota, we found that even if that behaviour changes depending of the place -at school is more common than the airport- the Rule Brakers not only are a lot in the city but also there is few people who protest this directly to them. Even more, what we confirmed is that there exist so many Rule Brakers because nobody criticize them.

The return of the Leaders

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Without Chavez there can't be chavism, without that one can't be refoundation of the republic, without this one there can't be security or economic growth.

A law of precedent in favour of the equality and the diversity

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Last wednesday, the Constitutional Court modified 42 articles in several aspects of the colombian legal system, in order to make equal rights and obligations for couples of the same sex compared to the heterosexual's.

The art of imitating

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The countries, as people do, imitate others. Especially the great ones, the most powerful.

The blindness of the economists

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

¿How many economists saw the Global Recession coming, the deepest in our lifes? Practically No One.

Reagan And Obama

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When we inspire in the past - Ronald Reagan said, refering to the people from the United States - is when we can live for the future.

Porcelain Dolls

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The ideal image of the female body as a sack of bones is so spread, that there are already networks dedicated to promote Anorexia and Bulimia as a life style.

¿Individual Humanitarian Special Agreements?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Colombians want Kidnapped to be liberated. For that reason it would be logic for us to support the Government when it gives incentives for the Guerrilla members to scape with the kidnapped people, as the strategy has made some liberations possible. But the matter is not that simple, as the strategy politically risky and unstable.

The enormous challenges of a good man

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Since World War Two this is the first time the Unites Stated doesn't have the capacity of imposing, that it had before.

About politics history

By: Mauricio García Villegas

During holidays, I was reading texts about latinamerican politics history. I am not going to use this column, dear reader, for developing a synthesis of what I read, neither to write an essay about democracy in Latin America. What I am going to do is to show the impressions those texts left me about our own political regime.

Hypocracy and Reelection

By: María Paula Saffon

Adjusting himself to the prototype of a Cynical, Uribe pretends us to believe that reelection is not with him; are the people who are claiming his permanence in the power.

Tragic Wars

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Conflicts and tragedies have caused enormous suffer to humanity. But more terrible than that, have been conflicts that are assumed as tragedies, as natural events or supernatural that no one can resist. Those are the total wars, the holy wars, the wars where fighters are ready to die before negotiating with the enemy. The conflict between Israel and Hamas has a lot more than that.

I Dream with a New Policy Against Drugs

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The custom is to start the year expressing some wishes and commitments. I confess that since long time ago, one of my dreams is that the world see sense and leave that nightmare that is the war against drugs.

Pocket Rules

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Douglass North, Nobel Prize in Economy, sustained some time before that the poor economical development of Latin America, in comparison with that of the United States, can be explained, in its major part, by the way how, since five centuries ago people and institutions conceive laws in this continent.

The Mothers of Belem

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The biblic narration made by Mathew the Evangelist is concise: to the noise made by the magicians about the birth of the King of Jews, the jealous of Herodes appeared who saw his kingdom weaken. He used the magicians to seek for the child in Belem, "so I can also go and adore him", but the magicians never came back to Herodes, which made him furious and ordered one of the most sadly remembered murders of the history. The murder of innocent two year old children in Belem and it's surroundings.

The Victory of Turbay Ayala

By: Mauricio García Villegas

"Not everyone had the luck to have 20 years in May in 1968 in Paris", wrote the french intellectual Régis Debray.

Colombia Vs. Rest of the World

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Appointing Perea as ambassador in South Africa because the World Cup will be hosted there, is just an example of the myopia of the colombian foreign policy.

Victims and Christmas

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

An impacting Christmas Card, promoted by Claudia Lopez, Antanas mockus and Rudolf Hommes, invites us to reflect and act, so in Colombia there won't be more false positives, which means, there won't be more assasinates executed by agents of the Public Force. The Letter is accompanied by a moving picture, where the mothers of Soacha show portraits or memories of the sons they lost due to the army.

Kouchner and Rama Yade

By: Mauricio García Villegas

HENRY KISSINGER said that diplomacy was the art of ambiguity, with what gave count -in a ambiguous manner- of the existing gap between what the world of the international relations does and says. But as everything here, there are also exceptions, it means, diplomatics that say what they think with frankness and straight out.

The End of the Economic Orthodoxy

By: Helena Alviar García

The actual economic crisis is making rethink those who believed had the revealed truth on the role of the State in the market

Colombia is Africa as Well

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

"The first that calls the attention is the light. Everything is illuminated with light. With clarity. From the sun." That´s how Ryszard Kapuscinski,a legendary Polish reporter, describes the first impression of an european when arrived to Africa. And that´s how he opens Ebony, the penetrating book that narrates his adventures as a press correspondent in search of the soul of this black continent.

Doubt Praise

By: Mauricio García Villegas

We live in a world in which we know very little of much. I not only refer to life´s big questions: where do we come from? where are we going? how big is the universe? who live in it?. I refer mostly to the little we know about the actual world, the societies to which we are part, the problems we have and the solutions we need.

Irresponsibles

By:

With their language and ideas, sometimes the columnists contribute to the intolerance that exists in the country.

The Massacre from the "Bananeras" and the Inequality of the Victims

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In Colombial all victims are equal, but some are more equal than others. With this proposition inspired in a similar phrase from George Orwell´s novel Animal Farm, I highlight the enormous moral asymmetry of Colombian society before its victims.

The Lawyers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

While greater the public impact of a profession, greater the interest of the government to regulate it. That´s why that the doctors for example, have more restrictions to exercise their profession than, let´s say, anthropologists. And the lawyers? With law happens the same thing as with medicine: due to the incidence of lawyers in public life - quality and honesty are indispensable for the proper operation of justice and the exercise and protections of civilians rights - the State sets limits to the free practice of the profession.

The Miracles of the Pyramids

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The pyramids are those magic objects, talismans that achieved what seemed impossible. For example, there are the 2 miracles that obtained the financial pyramids once they fell down, one, the public debate on the crisis and the other, the critical position towards the actual government.

The Two Colombias

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In an essay titled The Parochial Triumvirat, publicized in mid 1900´s, José María Samper hold that in Colombia there were two republics.

The End of "Meritocracia": the merits democracy

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Me, very naive, recommended my students to present themselves to the public contest because that way they didn't need help from anyone to get a public position. Many did it and are now waiting for the results.... they are going to have a terrible deception.

Suppress Violence against Women

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The celebration, this 25th of november of the "International Day for the Eradication of all Forms of Violence against Women" must help us remember the gravity of this phenomenon in latin America, specifically in colombia.

The Measure of Things

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There are many things you have to measure in a society: taxes, vacations, prison penalties, the presidential period, interest rate, legal age, military expenses, minimum wage salary, social interest housing and much more.

A Gross Mistake

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The democratic victory in the United States could send a very expensive bill to the colombian government.

The Drug Dealing Business of the Pyramids

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

¿How is it possible that pyramids gets us on such a mess? Even though many believed in them because of necessity or for being naive, the most common case is that of "taking advantage" the colombian way wanting to do money the easiest and fastest way. This is what grandma´s from the Antioquia region say: "go and make money honestly. If you can´t, go and make money."

Forums

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In a democratic society and pluralist everyone must be able to say what they want, even though when what they say is openly with no support at all.

Juridical Ruses against Victims

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Government seems determined to keep away victims caused by state agents from the project on the Statute of the Victims Rights that is now before the Chamber of Representatives for approval. That is why everyday it invents juridical ruses to justify what evidently is a form of discrimination.

Politics and Faith

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Never before in a developed occidental democracy, I believe, a religious group had so much political power as the one who had the Evangelical Christians during the 8 years of the presidency of George Bush.

Falcons, Pigeons and Human Rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Anyone who has followed the recent polemic on the human rights policy may be thinking, that in fact, this is a crazy country.

Purge to the Army: Needed but it is not Enough

By: María Paula Saffon

There are thousands of documented cases on military collusion with armed groups that state strong reasons for dismissing those involved immediately.

Anti-elitism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Few weeks ago, while putting forward his campaign in Toledo streets in Ohio, Barack Obama was approached by a man named Joe Wurzelbacher, plumber, who questioned the kindness that his economic plan could have with small entrepreneurs like him.

Victims from Law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Why are there so many requisites for reparation if when the massacre occurred we had none?

Back Down of the Governmental Policy on Indigenous

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The pitched battles in Cauca show that is in danger the Constitutional arrangements forged by indigenous in the 1991 Constitution.

Too Much Earth?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The Indigenous protest because the government do not give them the territory that was promised and the President says that why would they ant more land if they already got too much.

"Our Aboriginals": Indigenous or Terrorists?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

This time the indigenous did not marched in vane. Still they haven´t achieved from the Government to give them the land promised almost 20 years ago. But they have gained that exasperated elite sectors show their true colors and say with naivety what they think about the subject.

Ethics and Judicial Juncture

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Since the judicial strike, new judges for the Constitutional Court and the airs of reform it´s important to ask one self what ethical parameters must prevail.

The World Disorder

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The recent collapse from Wall Street has produced three types of reactions in the press: that from the neo-liberals that simply keep quiet (it was time); that from the enemies of capitalism, that rub their hands with the expectations that this will be the end of the United States; and that from those that don´t believe this to be the end of capitalism, but think that its survival depends on the strengthening of the State.

The Justice of the Bankers

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It´s important that the bankers preoccupy about the problems on the judicial system in Colombia. But that does not means that their visions and solutions are to be accepted, as is shown in the interview on Sunday in El Tiempo. to Luis Carlos Sarmiento.

The Judges and the Government

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Every country has its evils. Poverty, without doubt,is the most common and extended from them all. But many countries face their own difficulties: In Bangladesh they fight against an inclement nature; in Georgia they try to contain the Russian imperialism; in Belgium they do the possible to avoid the dismember of the country; in Ukraine they combat the aging of the population, etc. And in Colombia? Well here, their is no lack for poverty - 60% of the population suffers it - as well, we have problems typically ours and these are minimum: drug trafficking, violence and armed conflict.

Forgive Them because they don´t Know what they are Doing

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I write from a small, miserable, farmhouse in the Department of Sucre where the only thing that the paramilitaries were unable to dominate was the natality rate.

With women like that...

By: Helena Alviar García

Sarah Palin, candidate to the Vice-presidency of the United States, can be one of the worst representative of the feminine causes.

God and Politics

By:

The traditional hostility between the liberal thinking and religion does not let see that both have coincidences.

Dead Disappeared

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This is a macabre country. The great headlines in the colombian news this week refers to the founding of bodies of disappeared people. One of them was the body of an 11 months baby killed by its own father, who had kidnapped the baby in order to extortionate his mother.

It´s Alive

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Society must stop treating the forced missing people as victims of a second category.

The Financial Market, a Suicidal Institution?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

As some people, there exists institutions that are "suicidal", according to the suggestive expression of the philosopher Garzón Valdés. One of those institutions is the market, or at least, the financial market. Its suicidal tendency derives from the fact that if it´s abandoned to its own dynamic, without any ethical control or regulation, then the market tends to the auto´destruction.

Battle Cities

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The cities, as the people, have their own temperament. Some are disciplined, kind and calmed, while others are impulsive, unpredictable and spoiled. It´s not easy to identify such a character, but any tourist knows is not the same to be in Stockholm than in Rome or Barranquilla and that behind geography and buildings, their is something incorporeal and own that identify and determines them.

HRW: Yanquis of shit also?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Kicked out. Like that were thrown from Venezuela osé Miguel Vivanco and Daniel Wilkinson representatives from Human Rights Watch (HRW). All because of telling the truth to the Hugo Chavez government in a press conference in which was presented a report on the human rights situation in that Country.

Hoodeds

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Last year we were listening t a conference from a french professor in the Universidad Nacional when we suddenly saw by the windows of the auditorium some hooded persons that exhorted against Uribe and threw explosive potatoes. The french professor suspended his explanation and stood up from his chair.

Enough with Guerrilla´s Violence

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

How come the Guerrilla leaders cannot see the disastrous results that have produced the armed conflict which has been the factor for paramilitary groups, the disappearance of the peasants movement, the weakening of the union leaders movement, the agricultural policy, and the daily terror of these last decades?

Why Remembering Trujillo´s Massacre?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Why remembering and clearing up the details on so many massacres that have occurred in Colombia as the massacre in Trujillo? Isn't it a vain exercise of national flagellation that impedes reconciliation and makes harder the building of a better future?

Diabolical Moral

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There was a time in which priests asked people to confess if they had had bad thoughts or bad dreams.

The Return of Turbay

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The parliamentary initiative for legalizing the "roscogramas" is similar to that proposed by the Ex-President Turbay for reducing corruption.

Journalists and Union Leaders : Privileged Dead?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Numbers are alarming: 125 journalists killed in the last 125 years in the country. Equally serious is the number of cases that have ended in a sentence: only 12, and almost always against the one who shoot and not the one who gave the order.

A tiger of flesh and bones

By: María Paula Saffon

It´s very difficult to demonstrate, as pretends the columnist Alfredo Rangel, that the Colombian Government has the real and unequivocalwill to investigate and judge crimes against humanity that are of the competence of the International Criminal Court.

The Science of Religion

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It´s been almost two centuries since Auguste Compte said in his Opuscules that society was in a state of transition between the old world, dominated by religion and the militarism, a new world where science and humanism will be the guides of civilization.

Rodrigo Uprimny in the Editorial of September 3 in El Espectador

By: El Espectador

The thing about impunity towards the killing of journalists in Colombia, very usual every certain time, was the object of debate during the meeting organized by the Interamerican Society of Press (SIP) and Andiarios, beginning this week in Bogota.

Judicial Independence, Verbal Intemperance and Interamerican Court

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The last ruling from the Interamerican Court was against Venezuela, but it seems to be written for Colombia due to the reflections about the threat to the judicial independence because of the verbal attacks from the governement againts the decisions from the judges that do not suit its will.

More Scandals than Institutions

By: Mauricio García Villegas

One of the most visible things in a democracy that works properly is is the clear division that exists between the subjects that are object of consensus and dissensus.

The International Criminal Court Arrives to Colombia

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

With the visit from the International Criminal Court (ICC) I ask myself what are thinking the analyst who celebrated the decision from the government to extradit the paramilitary chiefs. Since then, many of us adviced that with the take of of the para-charter the right to the truth, justice and reparation of the victims smear.

Defending Who?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In studies about justice, usually there is made a differentiation between the most visible justice – which is the judicial cases of major impact as parapolitics – and the routine justice, that decides over the judicial cases of the common people such as robberies and divorces.

Checkmate, International Humanitarian Law

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

After so many ferocious acts from the FARC as the recent bomb in Ituango, the abuse of the use of the Red Cross sign in the ´Check operation´ can be seen as a minor and excusable fact, that won’t deserve any more comments on the matter. Over all if is taken into account that the operative achieved without gunfire, obtained the liberation of the kidnapped that stayed for years under FARC control in atrocious conditions.

We Reserve Admission Rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

We all have seen the odious signboard at the entrance of restaurants, bars, discotheques and public establishments of all the country. “We reserve the admission right”, reads the announcement that puts our luck in the arbitrary hands of the turn doorman.

Dream and Reality in Pekin

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In Shakespeare´s Tempest, Miranda says the following: "O, wonder!/ How many goodly creatures are there here!/ How beauteous mankind is!/ O brave new world, That has such people in't!/"

Those Who Wear Tennis Shoes Do Not Enter

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

In many bars only those that can demonstrate that are identified with certain mark of clothes, shoes, accessories, and own gestures characteristic to a social class can pass the entrance examination.

The Judicial Reform: inopportune and opportunist

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The proposal for the Judicial Reform announced by the government is inopportune for the colombian society. On the hand is functionally opportune for the government as it generates a cloak of doubt over the impartiality of the judicial investigations over "parapolítica" which has affected essentially members near to the president.

Five Million Dollars against the Reelection

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The proposal is simple: pay five million dollars to the president so he abandons office when the presidential time is over.

Terror against Terror

By: Mauricio García Villegas

LAKHDAR BOUMEDIENE it´s a Bosnian citizen born in Argelia, captured october in 2001 with 5 other people, under the suspect that he must be preparing an attack against the US Embassy in Bosnia.

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Who Can Defend Us Now?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The Supreme

By: Mauricio García Villegas

To make one believe is a serious thing

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Referring to a native doctor of the Amazon, Levi-Strauss stated at some time the following: "The chamán Quesalid was not a great doctor because he cured the sick, but he cured the sick because he was a great doctor"

Those who experienced abduction- Are they now victims of journalism?

By: María Paula Saffon

The insensitive treatment that the media has given to the experiences of those that suffered from abduction has not only fallen on the violation of their right to privacy but also it has been an offense against their dignity by subjecting them to the second form of victimization.

The March and Our Asymmetric Morale

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The large march of July 20th for the freedom of all the kidnapped people generated mixed feelings within me, very similar to my feelings provoked by the protest last February 4th against the FARC. And because of this, even at the risk of repeating myself, I feel obliged to reiterate my position in this theme, mentioned before in another column I wrote on February 2nd in Semana.com.

The march of July 20th

By: Mauricio García Villegas

“Are you going to march on Sunday?” a colleague in Medellín asked me this week. “Yes, of course”, I answered. “Oh! I am not so convinced” he responded and justified his decision with these words: “I went to march when the first demonstration against the kidnapping was organized; but I feel that this time with the liberation of Ingrid, the march is going to reduce to a political act of Government endorsement and I do not want to be part of the chorus of religious, chauvinistic praises and lackey that is being formed in this country because of the success of the Democratic Security politics.”

Marbury v. Madison in China

By: Diego E. López Medina

When in the last column I invited the readers to give me ideas, various suggestions about the importance of comparative worker’s rights themes and for that I decided to begin on this occasion. Various other themes were proposed about the current legal state of Colombia, and I hope to be able to address this topic little by little. In any case, I continue to be open to new suggestions.

Who can help with the ETB line?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

This article is written out of eagerness because it touches César to call on the Company of Telephones of Bogotá (ETB) to ask for a line. Like you and so many other victims, know that for this the remainder of the day is needed.

Envy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

There are seven mortal sins- lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride- but almost all have fallen in oversight. Thus, for example, in a survey published a couple years ago, the English responded that the only one of those sins that deserved to continue to be on the list was greed.

Memories of two Fifteen agers

By: Diego E. López Medina

The Constitution of 1991 shows in its 15 years that it is more beautiful that that of 1886. The professor Diego López Medina explains why.

The Judge as the Last Artisan

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Those that come to supply charges in the high courts should take into account that the greater demand for the function of serving justice is in the control of a genuine judicial artisan; that is, they have the job of shaping the legal materials that their collaborators supply to them.

What is the function of Contemporary Comparative Rights?

By: Diego E. López Medina

Comparative rights are a discipline that, in its more contemporary reincarnation, was born with the Congress of Paris in the year 1900. The lawyers of that time (where Salleiles and Lambert had an indisputable leadership position) understood for the first time the intense phenomenon of commercial and financial globalization that had become evident at that time. The increase in commerce, of capital flow, of merchandise and of people causes the birth of an unpublished cosmopolitan conscience of law. The transatlantic steamboats offered, for the first time, the possibility of large quantities of persons travelling in a relatively short time between the old and new world.

Laissez faire and pizzas: Inequalities in the economic system

By: Diego E. López Medina

In the zeal to defend free enterprise at times they commit mistakes and injustices: there are occasions in which to protect the protection of free enterprise, socially anti-economic results are produced.

State of Law?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It can be useful to observe the ties between the two most important news articles of the last two weeks: the spectacular rescue of the kidnapped people and the risky presidential reaction against the Supreme Court sentence in the case of Yidis.

The Collapse of the FARC

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The spectacular rescue of the 15 kidnapped that were under the power of the FARC is, in my judgement, not only a political blow and a forceful and harsh military action that has never before been infringed by the Army on a guerrilla group, it is also a good opportunity to achieve peace and national reconciliation.

Institutional Dictatorship

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

All the politicans and native columnists have said something about the fight between Uribe and the Supreme Court. But no one has utilized a term as certain as Sergio Ramírez, the ex-vice president and Nicaraguan revolutionary thinker.

A Slip in the Face for Yidis

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

The wrath of President Uribe against Yidis Medina goes against the governmental bill that looks to prevent violence against women.

Empty Chairs and the Presumption of Innocence

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

It is possible that many readers may be tired of the debate of the ‘empty chair’. But it is necessary to continue the discussion of this theme, a useful reform –although not sufficient- to face an essential problem of Colombian society: the infiltration of criminal organizations in politics and Congress.

Security, Democratic?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In a country that has two guerrilla movements, powerful mafias of drug-traffickers, armies of paramilitary that camp for the national territory and common delinquency is overflowing, it is barely natural that the theme of security becomes a national worry.

Injustice: ‘Made in USA’

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Now that the paramilitaries are gone, everyone has placed their faith in the agreement with the United States that promises to condemn them there for everything they did here.

If God was Black…

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

...All World change, the song says. In this earthly world, what seems to be is that the next United States President will be black. Now that for the first time in history, the possibility is within reach, how much would change if Obama at the always white White House? And how much of the change would we feel in these tropical lands?

Speed Limits

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The traffic signs that indicated the highway speed limits in Colombia bear a striking resemblance to that which adolescents call ‘a scolding by their parents’.

The Fraud of the Merit Competition

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Congress has approved a governmental bill that defrauds those that participate in the contest of merit organized in 2005 to provide 100,000 public offices.

Filled Chairs, Empty Principles

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The three arguments of Uribismo to justify their support of the collapse of the reformed named ‘Empty Chair’ sound very empty.

The City without the Poor

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The rich neighborhoods of our cities bear a striking resemblance to the neighborhoods of Miami or of Barcelona. The unique thing that makes them not identical is that they do not have ‘poor’ there, those in the streets, selling something, or begging. The governmental bill 087 of 2007 –for presidential sanctions- wants to put an end to the ‘aesthetic’ difference that sanctions the drivers that purchase from the people selling at traffic lights.

Constitutional Efforts

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, once said that the ‘truth is not simply what one thinks it is. It is also the circumstances in which it is said and to who, how and when it is said’. What Havel is stating is not only applicable to the political world, but also to the world of justice, particularly to that of constitutional courts that are more in political than judicial worlds.

What not to do when facing Parapolitics

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

We should not weaken the autonomy of the Supreme Court; therefore the acceptance of the legitimacy of its decisions depends greatly on the current crisis and a democratic rather than authoritarian exit.

Goodbye to Cigarettes with Coffee

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

I belong to the first generation that detests cigarettes. I grew up, as many, seeing my parents smoke two packs daily and sucking in all the smoke in the world.

And Talks of Peace?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It is possible that the FARC has not changed much with the death of Marulanda and that the negotiated exit for today with Alfonso Cano, far away as usual.

And why wasn´t it done upside down?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The extradition of the paramilitary leaders to the United States implies that to the Colombian government it is more serious to export cocaine than it is to massacre people. It also means that our government privileges its relationship with the United States set against its duty to protect the rights of victims of atrocious crimes. This shows a deep distortion of the ethical values that should govern a democratic society.

The National University


By: Mauricio García Villegas

To be opposed to a government is not the same thing as to revolt against a tyrant. First there is ‘dissent’ and another is called ‘rebellion’. Both attitudes are opposed to political power, but while ‘dissent’ does it in defense of the institutions, the second ‘rebellion’ does it against them and tries to replace them. But in Colombia, the border between the two attitudes is very faint. A sample of this is what is currently happening at the National University.

Morality and the Law

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Oliver Holmes, the Great American Justice, said that a person that does not have the least respect for moral principle, finishes being a faithful moral follower when with it he can avoid jail or payment of fines. In Colombia, he passes the opposite of what Holmes plants: as the people see that there are not effective sanctions and everyone breaks the law, one feels the right to disobey the law and finish accommodating its moral convictions to its disobedience.

The Unconstitutionality of the Re-election according to Álvaro Uribe

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The confessions of the former Congressperson Yidis Medina has placed serious doubt of the legitimacy of the reform that established the re-election, therefore today it is clear that various decisive votes were obtained thanks to privileges offered by the Government.

Uribe and the Court in his pocket

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The idea to create a “supercourt” suits the government but not justice or political reform.

Extradiction and victims' rights

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The extradition of Macaco would suppose to accept that it is more serious to export cocaine than to massacre Colombians.

To penalize for reform

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The first action is to purify the reformer, Congress, so that it has the ethical capacity to reform.

The Repair Decree that makes amends for victims: more rhetorical than effective

By: María Paula Saffon

The Repair Decree utilizes the generous rhetoric of protection of the rights of victims, but turns to institutional mechanisms that impedes on their efficiency.

The language of the law

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The leaders of the law, like Rafael Nieto, should begin by clearly fixing their political positions.

What happened to Colombian diplomacy in this region?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

As many Latin-Americans see the global antiterrorist campaign as an instrument of service to the United States, is not effective in the region of antiterrorism used by Colombia.

Rewards without grief or glory

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The reward to the guerrilla that killed Iván Ríos shows the weaknesses of criminal politics and the serious effects on equality before the penal law.

Government of the people

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The summit of Santo Domingo showed that we depend more on the mood of leaders than on diplomacy and international law.

The risks of a preventive defense

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Two basic reasons have led for some analysts to justify the Colombian incursion against the FARC in Ecuadorian territory: that Colombia would have acted in legitimate defense and that its conduct would have a basis in the resolution of 1373 of the UN Security Council, that prohibits the states from harboring terrorist groups and that Ecuador would have violated this prohibition.

Invisible Suffering

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Society is mobilized alone now because before had not closely seen the suffering of those kidnapped.

The Right and the march

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

If the left awkwardly entangled itself with the march against the FARC, the right shows their true colors with their march this Thursday, to which I will leave as I left on February 4. And, as the “Facebook” protest clarified the need of a left that does not doubt condemning the FARC, one that will clearly allow the right we have and which we need.

Value formation for future professionals in law

By: Diego E. López Medina

This is the theme from the behind the times considered the ink bottle suggestion from a group of students at the Cooperative University of Popayán. I was delayed in addressing this because it does not turn out to be easy to speak of the relation between law and values without falling into commonplace or easy sermons. Law students from all over the country have deep concerns about the ethical exercise of the lawyer profession and it does not seem that the faculties or lawyers are responding adequately to address this need.

The requirement of marching on March 6th

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The citizens should show solidarity to all the victims and should condemn all the atrocities in the same way, without introducing hierarchies among them.

The third force

By: Mauricio García Villegas

If those of February 4th are right wingers and those of March 6th are leftists, what are we who will participate in both marches?

The Court's journey

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, professor at the National University and a founding member of Dejusticia, emphasizes the importance of encouraging the practice initiated by the Constitutional Court to be in session in cities other than Bogotá.

To march without warning

By: Mauricio García Villegas

By giving a proper name to the victimizer, he fortifies civil society, gains autonomy and his own voice.

What about the other victims and other atrocities?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The tests of survival of those kidnapped by the FARC have also resulted in tests of shame, and they show what was already known: the terrible conditions in which the kidnapped are found. It is natural that these tests have awoken the sensibility of citizens and have caused protests against the abductions by the FARC, a practice that is completely unacceptable.

The death of a historic judicial milestone? The Brown sentence and educative integration

By: Diego E. López Medina

It is doubtable that the central role of the contemporary constitutionalism has placed a part in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954. Many of us educate ourselves admiring the capacity of the social transformation that Brown embodied. For the legal modern conscience, Brown is the clearest sign that the law can be a motivator in social transformation and for human emancipation.

Chávez and the FARC

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This article gives three reasons why the support from the Venezuelan president to the FARC complicates things for Colombia.

The rural country without State presence

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A measure that as one moves further away from the State capitals it vanishes. The power is in the hands of the State’s intermediaries.

2008: the year of local public politics

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The first thing that the next 1096 mayors and 32 governors should do starting January 1, 2008 is to coordinate the elaboration of their respective local plans of development as well as a sort of comprehensive four year plan. The eradication of certain practices evil in their design and approval and determined civic participation in their procedure, will be the key for recognition in the local environment.

Ingrid as a symbol and as a reality

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, argues that Ingrid Betancourt’s moving letter can become a type of “Diary of Ann Frank” about the drama of kidnapping in Colombia.

Gifts, the act of giving

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Many serve more to increase the collective hypocrisy of the generosity than for feeding affection.

Navigation letters

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, professor at the National University and founding member of Dejusticia, calls attention on the importance of the first months of 2008 in the matters of planning and participation, as well as the equilibrium that should exist between these two notions.

Yielding for liberation to the kidnapped?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Before Ingrid Betancur’s tests of survival, it fits to ask: under what circumstances can a person consider he has the right to cause other grief or punishment?

The value of caution

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, argues that the crisis with Venezuela has more value in caution than in verbal chauvinism.

Judicial Roles, the case of the Lorica judge

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In zones of armed conflict there is an official justice that competes with an illegal (or harmless) justice.

Chávez: Pocket Constitution

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez, of Dejusticia, maintains that with Sunday December 2nd referendum in Venezuela, Chávez will have a pocket Constitution.

The vote for social politics

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García considers that the triumph of the Pole in Bogotá’s city hall should be interpreted as a call to continue social politics.

The Political Function of Judges

By: Diego E. López Medina

In recent studies, the role that the Constitutional Courts play (and generally the control of constitutionality of laws) within the political system of the state has been examined. Authors such as Tom Ginsburg and Pedro Magalhaes on one side and Ran Hirschl on the other have opened a controversy that perhaps would be interesting to review in light of the Colombian case. Ginsburg studied the process of establishment of Constitutional Courts in Taiwan, Mongolia and Korea.

Hypocrisy: the Government against the Pole

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The Government’s strategy against the Pole is to cause its leaders to been seen as politicians close to the guerrilla warfare.

The democractic instant

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, professor at National University and member of Dejusticia, discusses that the only instant which is truly left to feel the constituent power, is each time that there are elections.

Three lessons from the elections

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The elections leave us with several lessons that should be considered upon debating the proposals of electoral reform.

The Collapse

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A good portion of Colombians think that there are many reasons to disobey laws. The problem with disobedience by subjective reasons is that each one overestimates the gravity of his circumstances.

The big constitutional mistake

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, argues that the Inspector General is right in being able to declare the labor reform unconstitutional because it has not generated employment.

the President's Attitude

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The warlike attitude of Uribe is a lot more worrying when is directed against the judges. What is more worrying is the effect that this will have in the peace process with the paramilitary.

The unbearable lightness of Peñalosa

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez, of Dejusticia, maintains that Bogotá has changed its government, but not its politics, and that it is the fault of the mayors and their parties.

A labor opportunity

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco

Diana Rodríguez Franco, from Dejusticia, maintains that Colombia must take advantage from actual situation of the Free Trade Agreement in order to adjust the labor legislation to the standards fixed by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Laws and levers: The system of sponsorships

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The generalized use of levers implies the prevalence of the private on the public.

Return to a Welfare State

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García of Dejusticia maintains that the benefits of a welfare State should be debated again.

The reinvention of the pad of constitutionnatilé

By: Diego E. López Medina

In the system of sources of law prior to 1991, the International Treaties of Human Rights that Colombia ratified were considered formally as ordinary demonstrations of legislator and therefore, located under the Political Constitution along with many other international treaties without any consideration to their importance or structural impact.

The contempt to the armed fight

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo member of Dejusticia and professor at the National University, expresses that those who fight for respect of people’s rights cannot be neutral before the actions of guerrilla warfare

Norms and compliance: The double line

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The culture of the contempt for the law is not only the product of vivacity; at times it is the result of poorly made norms.

Who to watch?

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas of Dejusticia suggests that in the next regional elections insure good political control and technician of the chosen rulers.

José Obdulio Gaviria and Profesor Óscar Mejía: Every war begins with words

By: Mauricio García Villegas

I don’t believe as José Obdulio does that all sins begin as thoughts, but I do believe that all wars begin with words.

Sins of thought

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, indicates the risks of an unfounded attack of José Obdulio Gaviria against Óscar Mejía, a professor at the National University.

A shortlist of One

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez of Dejusticia, maintains that the “shortlist of one” of the government to the Constitutional Court is a trick that will be very expensive to the Colombian democracy.

The heroes of Bavaria: A questionable commercial break

By: Mauricio García Villegas

My reproach against this advertising, according to which working and rural "heroes" deserve a beer at the end of the day, is not a moral reproach but rather an argument of public politics.

The necessity of public debate

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar and Isabel Cristina Jaramillo propose more participation of civil society in the election of judges to the Constitutional Court.

Internal democracy of the parties?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo, member of Dejusticia and professor at the National University, expresses that in spite of the 2003 political reform, little has advanced in the internal democratization of the Colombian political parties.

Hear the Victims

By: María Paula Saffon

Maria Paula Saffon, of DeJuSticia, maintains that the recently discovered events that have occurred in the Law Courts should serve as a lesson to listen to the victims rather than stigmatize them.

Sedition and political slants

By: Mauricio García Villegas

To give the paramilitary a character of political delinquents, in which various sectors close to the government insist, is to continue with an obliging attitude.

The Sedition of the President

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, emphasizes the weaknesses and the risks of the governmental attack on the Supreme Court for its failure on paramilitary and political crime.

¡Ave Javier!

By: Diego E. López Medina

In his last column, the distinguished writer and lawyer Javier Tamayo continues being stubborn in offering erroneous interpretation of my book “The Right of Judges”. I would not dare argue with such a loved friend and legalist if it were not for the fact that his affirmations, this time, are frankly unacceptable. In this opportunity Javier accuses me of a serious sin: the essential point consists of affirming that in Colombia there exists a theory, to which he calls a ‘new right’ and that their basic nucleus consists of maintaing a marked aversion by the law.

The “social guarantee” of rights: toward a culture alive with the respect to human rights

By: Diego E. López Medina

There are affirmations that by their precision they are converted into common places. Such it occurs precisely with the famous phrase of the German lawyer Claus Roxin when he affirms (thus, among signs of exclamation) that “The law of criminal process is a seismograph of the Constitution of the State!” (Roxin 2000, 10). This expressed affirmation, with more than precision, is an idea that all forms already announced for Beccaria relating to the proportionality between crimes and sentences: “if there was a universal and exact scale of crimes and sentences, we would have a probable and common measure of the degrees of tyranny and of liberty, of the depth of humanity or the malice of the diverse nations” (Beccaria 1990, 59). According to Beccaria, therefore, the states where such proportionality does exist will be humane and free states; the disproportionate, on the contrary would show tyranny and malice.

Saramago and his ranting

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, professor at the National University and founding member of Dejusticia, returns on the creed of “saramágico” about democracy

What Colombia lacks: a civil society

By: Mauricio García Villegas

We have very little society independent of the State, organized in defense of civic values.

The poverty of growth

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny director of Dejusticia, argues that, due to inequality, it is difficult to reduce the poverty in Latin America only with growth.

The “class struggle” in law

By: Diego E. López Medina

It is possible that the constitutional interpretation of the last semester is a product not from the High Courts but from president Uribe. His presidential campaign was his scenery and a frame for reading the constitution, the law and politics, which, due o its importance it must be debated. It´s amazing the central role that this idea has in gained in the mind of president Uribe even though it is recognizable along his politic life.

Latinos go home!

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez of Dejusticia, affirms that migration is uncontrollable and criticizes the fall of amnesty to illegal immigrants in the United States

The depoliticization of abduction: The July 6th marches

By: Mauricio García Villegas

When it is a matter of acts of barbarism, the people do not protest by defending a political position but rather defend against human indignity. The Left does not lose anything by assuming a frontal position against guerrilla warfare, on the contrary, it gains a lot.

The teaching of the Rochela

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia and professor at the National University, emphasizes the opportunity and teachings of the recent failure of the Pan-American Court against Colombia.

Fifth prison sentence of the Pan-American Court. From Washington to San José

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The fifth international sentence that condemns to the Colombian State for the complicity of the Army in paramilitary crimes, should be more shameful for the nation than the results of the presidential management before the U.S. Congress.

The Spanish political miracle

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo, member of Dejusticia and professor at the National University, emphasizes the consolidation of democracy in Spain and its lessons that we can derive from it.

Unpunctuality, without social reproach

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The unpunctuality is a generalized vice in public corporations, in both the State and in all of Colombian society, that does not receive sufficient social reproach.

Of the land, nothing

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas of Dejusticia, calls attention to the politics of trial and error of the government on the matter of administrative organization for the execution of its land programs.

By: Diego E. López Medina

Blacks or Colombians?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez of Dejusticia, maintains that the affirmation of the black identity does not contradict the Colombian identity.

The need for a “democratic justice” in Colombia

By: Diego E. López Medina

The credibility of Colombia´s democracy is still on trouble. What is understood as “democracy” is the system through which citizens could reach regular, fair, clean and transparent elections, as well as the possibility for manifesting their political preferences and elect their leaders. For there to exist a real democracy in Colombia it´s required first that the elections are clean.

The President's proposal: Disobey the State

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The President’s proposal to release the congresspersons imprisoned by the “para-politica”, preferring a pardon of justice, promotes the culture of justification of rebellion by subjective reasons of justice or inefficiency of the State, and in doing so, devalues institutions and rights.

Protecting maternity

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García and Isabel Cristina Jaramillo Sierra affirm that women continue being discriminated against as mothers or potential mothers in the labor market.

A week of an Afro-Colombianism, the question is: Is Colombia a racist country?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez Garavito coordinator of the Observation of Racial Discrimination analyzes an exclusive of the forms of racism in Colombia for “semana.com”.

The paradoxes of the FTA

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco

Diana Rodríguez Franco, from Dejusticia, maintains that the decision from the Government of the United States of modifying the Free Trade agreement opens a door for changing the clauses from the Treaty that are not convenient and unconstitutional.

The War on Drugs: A Repressive Addiction?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

This article, through an analysis of the evolution of anti-drug politics in 1989, develops the metaphor of the addictive character to the “war on drugs”. The central thesis is that, just as an addict feels the compulsion to consume more of certain substances each time they use with each use a production of a less pleasant effect, the anti-drug strategy resorts to increasingly more intense repressions with very few effects on the supply of drugs. On the other hand, that repression causes serious evil effects, such as the increase of violence and corruption associated with the drug trafficking mafia, or the development of an authoritarian and invasive criminal law. The article finishes with a so-called lucky detoxification of the anti-drug politics that achieves responsible criminal politics set against drugs.

Addiction to repression

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, argues that the governmental proposal to penalize drug use is because of the addictive nature of the repression of drugs.

Repeat not the horror

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo declares that is necessary to drive a political culture of democracy and respect to liberties and rights. As an example, the author takes up again the German experience of the post war.

Learning of the tragedies

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author maintains that the drama of this country is that we can never pass from individual feelings to collective action.

The executive of lands

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas emphasizes the legal importance and current politics of the operation of the executive of lands

Inequality and gender

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar responds to the crucial question: Do we need more laws that are devoted to the equality of women?

The French centrist

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Sunday we will know how much remains of the French political system, which is faced with two opposite conceptions of society.

From Chocó to Chicó

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The author maintains that the tragedy in Chocó reveals the deep racism of the Colombian society.

Tell me something and I will tell you where you're from

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It is suffice to hear someone speak to know their social origin.

Repair without spending?

By: María Paula Saffon

Maria Paula Saffon, of DeJuSticia, criticizes the double morale of the Project of National Plan for Development, that includes as an objective of the State, the redress of victims of atrocious crimes, but does not foresee spending a sent of resources to carry it out.

Inferiority complex

By: Diego E. López Medina

In a recent article published by Jorge Esquirol (Florida International University) he examines the profound inferiority complex that assault Latin-American institutions. According to the author, the complex of inferiority consists on a systematically not recognizing the values of own institutions in comparison to others, supposing that everything that is own is dysfunctional, politicized and ineffective. Meanwhile, one imagines that political and juridical institutions somewhere in prestigious countries are because of their nature highly functional, effective and non political.

Kill the coca leaf tea

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny criticizes the governmental ban on indigenous communities that produce coca leaf tea.

Intellectual Fascism

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The author presents a theoretical reflection on the "fascism of left" presented by Fernando Londoño.

The Pole is on a losing streak

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author insures that the strengthening of the Colombian democracy depends, in good part, on the democratic left becoming a true alternative of power and in this way, calls to worry about the medium voter.

A necessary reform

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo presents a proposal about the model of electoral organization that we should adopt.

Transition and the Development Plan

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas indicates the need to establish in the National Plan of Development, the existing narrow relation between regular public politics and transitional justice.

Political Scientists and justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Now as never before, is there a request for a strong social and institutional support of justice.

Those responsible for politicians

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez, of Dejusticia, maintains that governmental members should be made to respond for the scandals of their families and political clans.

The importance of the election of judges

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García analyzes the importance of civic participation in the election of the Judges of the High Courts.

Rage and Democracy

By: Mauricio García Villegas

In the forums, each one throws his dart, knowing full well that nobody will ask him reasons on what he affirms.

Is the wrath of the President unconsitutional?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny argues that the verbal excesses of the President are incompatible with his duties to maintain a high vote of confidence.

Protection of mediaocracy?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo emphasizes the importance of the merit contests that are presently being carried out in Colombia. They generate better public administration and they guarantee to all Colombians, equal opportunity of access to public offices.

The language of the inadmissible

By: Mauricio García Villegas

An act that ceases to be political when upon valuing it, the right/left distinction turns out to be irrelevant.

It is the cow's fault

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The author emphasizes the good, the bad, and the ugly of President Uribe’s proposal to prosecute the State.

And you, how much money have you donated?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez maintains that Colombians donate less than what they are able and refutes excuses of those that do not donate.

Populism and its enemies

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The author declares that the concept of populism cannot be reduced to the unacceptable “caudillismo” (leadership) of Chávez.

The Invisible Victims

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Compassion and indignation should lead us to a plan of national mobilization against abductors.

The 'reality' of the paramilitary

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The author defends the thesis that the free versions of the paramilitary should be completely public and they should even be directly televised.

The report on Héctor Abad

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Beyond the literary wealth that the book “The oversight that we will be”, the author emphasizes the value of denunciation it possesses.

The rule of the line

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Democracy is also made of elementary and routine attitudes of respect by others and by the public.

The 'para-política' crisis

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The author argues that the revelations about the “para política” (a combination of paramilitary and politics) are more of an symptom of democratic fortress than of an institutional deterioration.

The Country House

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The political class has had the power to forget the theme of the agrarian reform of the national political agenda.

Chávez's serious error

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The Venezuelan President’s purpose of establishing an indefinite presidential re-election will permit that it is identified with the dictatorial tradition of the country and with him it will contribute an important opposition to the flag.

The right to trap

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author considers that one of the most important causes of weakness in our institutions is the culture of breach of generalized appearance in Colombia.

In defense of Populism

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez maintains that the “populist ghost” that travels through Latin America can be more democratic than the government of the technocrats that criticize it.

The Silent Violence

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar and Isabel Cristina Jaramillo consider that themes of violence against women in judicial interpretations have a slant against the victims.

Between the devil and the deep blue seq

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This article explains that the paramilitary power front, the demobilization and the delivery of weapons signifies very little and that the State’s challenge with the paramilitary is not to conquer it militarily but rather judicially.

Memory help

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas insists on the role of the chronicle of the reconstruction in our historic memory.

Drug Trafficking, politics and the paramilitary

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny argues that the Supreme Court decision shows that the responsibility of the paramilitary in Colombia is not just of drug trafficking but of the persistence of antidemocratic structures in agrarian property and in Colombian politics.

The cause of the fault

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Vice President Santos, launches an advertising campaign in Europe, in which he suggests a relationship between consumers and drugs, confusing the cause with the fault, and he declares that this type of advertising pokes the American prohibitionist spirit in Europe.

Delivering the Constitution?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo affirms that the Constitution of 1991 represents an important civic conquest and that it requires leaving behind the idea that all future processes of peace automatically implies the assembly of the National Constituent Assembly.

Land and impunity

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, of DeJuSticia, calls attention to the need to articulate regular public politics and those related to the demobilization process.

Dreaming of what we have?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

This article comments on a book by Eduardo Posada Carbó and concludes that the country thinks the author doesn’t give a sufficient answer to the problems of democracy and human rights that face Colombians.

Why the fright of equality?

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García analyzes why the governmental bill #130 of the 2005; by which measures relating to the social protection of same-sex couples is dictated, generates so much fear.

Against nationalism

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author considers that to surpass insecurity it is necessary to change the current political organization to a cosmopolitan organization that surpasses the old notion of state sovereignty.

The defender of the position

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez of Dejusticia advises of the “silencer” effect that can influence the government in the appointment of an senior official.

Collision of interpretations

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Speaking of guardianships against sentences, the author maintains the fairness of the plurality of interpretations is what is most attentive against legal security.

Of guardianship and sentences

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The author maintains that the name “collision of trains” among the courts doesn’t justify the elimination of the guardianship against sentences but precision of regulation should be maintained.

Support of truth

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The author alerts of the danger of the radiation of mental power in investigations of truth, justice, and repair in the interior of the District Attorney’s Office.

The notaries. Feudal openings.

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The politicization of the registry offices to put an end to the dignity of these charges and continues to go against the Constitution and, worse still, with the complicity of the Government.

The global expansion of Presidential power

By: Diego E. López Medina

The author reflects about the tax limitations of the United States Congress as a utilization of their Armed Forces in the Colombian conflict.

Private TV channels reproduce the mafia culture that is taking over the country

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author shows that private television channels have adapted to the market, in which sex is a hook, and they reproduce the mafia culture that is taking over the country.

Popular actions, impopular with the Government?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The author criticizes the governmental proposal to eliminate the economic incentive in the popular actions, thus being able to put an end to the mechanism of protection of collective rights.

The ghost of electoral fraud

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo affirms that the imminent taking of the National Electoral Counsel on the part of the Uribista coalition will cause the revival of the ghost of electoral fraud and will threaten the Colombian democracy.

Our society looks with indifference on those who experience bad economic times

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author emphasizes the power of regulation that money holds in a society like ours with scarce social mobility.

Domestic violence as a topic for all

By: Helena Alviar García

Isabel Cristina Jaramillo and Helena Alviar consider that different legal tools and solidarity of the community are fundamental to attack domestic violence.

To not apply the sentence of the Court to the current process of peace is similar to having an intermittent Constitution.

By: Mauricio García Villegas

With a plan of a regulation degree by the Law of Justice and Peace, the Government wants to impose the idea that the sentence of the Court does not apply to demobilized paramilitary. This decision imposes the logic of intermittent constitutionalism, in which the Constitution applies the will of the government.

Constitutional Court, Peace

The Tax Reform

By: Diana Rodríguez Franco

Diana Rodríguez Franco, from Dejusticia, points out some contradictions from the tax reform project and outlines its inequitable and regressive character.

By: María Paula Saffon

More about Jamundí

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Recalls the limitations indicated by the Constitutional Court about the military statute, those that were apparently not taken into account in the judge’s decision to send the Jamundí case to military justice.

The hope for a system of effective international rules based on competence is trifling

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It’s evident that rich countries worry about the uncertain future. Nevertheless, in spite of the dangers that exist for peace and survival, it is almost impossible that they are capable of changing a system based on the unequal competence for one of cooperation.

The Judicial Protection of Rights and The Constitution

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

This article is offered in defense of the progresses that the Constitution of 1991 made regarding judicial protection of human rights.

Zidane's Head-butt

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Comments on the implications of Zidane’s head-butts in his election as World’s Best Footballer.

Tastes and the National Identity

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author emphasizes that our nationality is closely connected with consumer goods, and as a result our national identity is transient and negligible.

A Constitution of Diversity

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

One of the large successes of the Constitution of 1991 was to surpass an exclusive, homogenizing, and normative order, so that it could build a more inclusive, diverse, and plural society.

An ethical question

By: Diego E. López Medina

The right to life is absolute according to the Catholic Church in the debate related to the abortion. Professor Diego López questions if certain forms of analysis benefit-cost are not also against this moral doctrine.

Referees and Television

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Analyzing the role of the referees in soccer matches, this text defends the utilization of television as tool for reducing the errors committed and diminishing the risk that soccer becomes a game of chance.

Tardiness, without social reproach

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Lessions from Jamundí

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, of DeJuSticia, indicates five possible consequences of the massacre of Jamundí, and the various lessons for our democracy.

The love of one's country

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The author shows how the concept of “patria” or native country, can be utilized as a political symbol that evokes an excessive plan, different from constitutionalism, that looks not only to transform citizens’ behaviour, but also its souls and beliefs.

What remains of the party system?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

As a result of the elections, the two traditional parties will continue to dominate Colombian politics. A permanent transformation of the party system should come from the left.

Globalization-Non-governmental Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives (David Clark,ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2006)

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Processes of economic globalization underway since the early 1970s pose new regulatory dilemmas. The mismatch between global economic processes, on the one hand, and national regulations, on the other, creates what Sassen has aptly called a "regulatory fracture", stemming from the fact that ?economic processes diverge from the model for which extant regulations were designed? (Sassen 1998: 155). Debates about how to deal with such a regulatory fracture are today at the forefront of law and society research on globalization and have given rise to a host of regulatory experiments around the world. A growing number of sociolegal analyses and institutional experiments emphasize non-governmental approaches to regulation, that is, forms of economic and political coordination in which private organizations ?from corporations to civic associations? take on regulatory tasks that were hitherto reserved to the state. From this perspective, forms of global governance have the potential to solve some of the problems faced by national governments in the global economy.

By: Diego E. López Medina

The Colombian state has tried throughout history to set up a Weberian type of public administration. This administration should seek to be meritocratic, expert, rational, and non-political. These characteristics, in turn, are commonly linked to political stability and economic growth. This constitutional ideal has grown out of a perceived need to separate clearly between “politics” and “public administration”. Within “politics”, so the argument runs, the only possible result is the exacerbation of political factionalism and, at the end, with the outbreak of civil war. This is, in fact, a diagnosis that different generation of politicians and lawyers in Colombia have advanced to explain the overall health of their constitutional system. With a public law centered around “administration” the hope would be that all well-meaning citizens and politician could work out pragmatic and rational decisions that would favor political and economic stability. This article examines the development of this “Weberian ideal” in the 1900-2007 period, using methods of social and legal interpretation that have been largely ignored by Colombian administrative law doctrine. More particularly, the article denounces Latin American and Colombian doctrine for only providing a acontextual reading of legal norms, thus depriving lawyers and citizens of a more clear historical and political understanding of the ideals embedded in the so-called “structural constitution”. Finally, the article develops this history within a comparative law framework: Colombian administration first used French law as its benchmark; from mid-century on, with the global ascendancy of the U.S., new administrative ideas became paramount and Colombian policy-makers and scholars tried to make sense of this new transplants within the milieu of their already existing traditions and law.

A State without Justices

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas thinks without a doubt, that the police is essential in the task of territory recovery. But is it sufficient?

An uncertain future

By: Mauricio García Villegas

We hope that the international situation will be favorable, that the mafias receive the weight of justice and that the control agencies worry more about complying with the Constitution than about favoring Uribe.

By: Diego E. López Medina

The prosperity of breach

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas analyzes the phenomenon of the breach in Colombia.

The drama of the elections in Peru

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The elections in Peru emphasize the lack of party system and the importance of Colombian political reform of 2003, which pursues to fortify and democratize the political parties.

It is sufficient to simply include a woman on the list?

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar and Isabel Cristina Jaramillo consider that the rank of the themes should be expanded on which the candidates of the Supreme Court of Justice are evaluated.

What one must look at

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas invites citizens to scrutinize the programs of the government proposed by the candidates, not only the superficial aspects of their campaign, before placing their vote.

And the women of the Court?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez criticizes the absence of a woman in the proposed shortlist by the Supreme Court to choose the new Judge of the Constitutional Court.

Report or judicial sentences?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, Director of DeJuSticia, argues that to require the media to give judicial proof of its accusations is a form of censorship.

Peace without State

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas supports that the process with the paramilitary is not as they show it to be.

Politics and the Judicial Branch

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Being the bearer of bad news, Danilo Rojas of Dejusticia, anticipates the reform of justice that will surely be undertook by the new Congress.

Consensus and Conflict: Government and Opposition

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas analyzes how a healthy democracy fortifies the social consensus and polarizes political conflicts. In Colombia, the armed conflict has impeded a strong consensus be formed and that a patronage system of the politics has created more of a business than a confrontation of programs. But this is changing; Mauricio believes that for a country that is so healthy that a consensus about the refusal of the use of violence exists as a conflicts solution mechanism, two democratic and political current events that are opposed are clarified.

What identifies Carlos Gaviria?

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar believes that the proposal of Carlos Gaviria Díaz represents an option of the left and not of the orthodoxy

The future of Congress

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez notifies that the next Congress will be paradoxical: although elected by overwhelming majority, watch for the interests of some powerful minorities to be represented.

Are the rights of Colombians dreams or illusions?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of DJS, says that programs such as “Dancing for a Dream” or “I have an illusion” send an ambiguous message that fundamental rights are dreams whose execution depends on the artistic abilities of the famous.

Yes there is a left and a right

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas maintains that progressive ideas are more valid each day in this country.

Abuse in the military forces? What gives!

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, of DJS, recalls what he was subjected to during his active duty and proposes to initiate politics to reverse the culture of existing abuse.

A debate in limbo?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, Director of DJS, criticizes the legal reasons given by the Court to be refrained from deciding the demand of the legalization of abortion.

The democratics of the FTA between Colombia and the United States

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez criticizes those who ask to sign the FTA without keeping in mind the unfavorable polls and he notifies that to sign it can be expensive to the President and the contenders of Congress in the next elections.

Abduction: the debate of humanitarian exchange

By: Mauricio García Villegas

It is a drama that the relatives also be, kidnapped in a way by guerrilla warfare.

Informative equity vs. Freedom of the press?

By:

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of DJS, argues that the State’s imposition on radio and television companies to maintain an informative equilibrium of coverage on the presidential campaigns is not censorship.

Will there be peace with the ELN (Colombian National Liberation Army)?

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Though in all the cases is advisable to look at peace negotiations with skepticism, in the case of the negotiations that have been initiated with the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) some hopes can be harbored.

By: Diego E. López Medina

September 11th in Hollywood

By: Diego E. López Medina

Professor Diego López Medina discusses “Syriana” and “Munich”, the political films of the season that present controversial theories.

Chronicles of war and the uprooting

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, member of DJS, exalts the value of the journalistic chronicles of war to fill the “holes” in history when they arrive at the moment of crossroads in the telling of the government stopping guerrilla warfare.

The tragedy of the farce

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez criticizes antiabortion groups and the Constitutional Court for not knowing that its actions are massive violations of women’s rights, which has been revealed by recent statistics on sexual violence.

The Constitutional Court and Control of Presidential Extraordinary Powers in Colombia

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The paper analyzes the attempts of Colombian Constitutional Court to control the abuse of presidential emergency powers in the last decade. After describing the dilemmas that governmental emergency powers pose to constitutional regimes and explaining some particularities of Colombian (a democracy under permanent emergency), the article focuses on the efforts of the Constitutional Court to exercise a ?material? control of the declaration of a state of emergency by the President. According to this legal doctrine, it is the duty of the Court to analyze if the facts invoked by the government constitute a crisis severe enough to justify the use of emergency powers. The article shows that the Court has exercised this material control in a quite strict way and has nullified several declarations of a state of emergency by different presidents. The article tries then to analyze how this form of judicial review has been possible in a country like Colombia, with a precarious democracy and a cruel armed conflict. The article describes also the impact of this form of judicial control in Colombian politics and offer some more general conclusions based on Colombian experience.

A win for Uribe and the left wing

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

The law of electoral guarantees creates extensive opportunities for the growth and strengthening of the democratic left wing in Colombia.

The Constitution and Economic Model in Colombia

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

This text answers two questions: First, what consecrates the Colombian Constitution as an economic model? And second, what are the legal and practical effects of constitutional norms on economic politics?

Cultural and economic pincher

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas warns of the dangers that rest on the independence of culture and art, regularly tied to dictations of economic groups.

Return to the Past

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The two weeks of violence that France has experienced shows that discrimination by social class is not a phenomenon of the Old Regime, but of the present.

In the name of Democracy

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny states that the double take on the Law Court, with its enormous suffering, should teach us the danger of supporting an unlimited defense of institutions.

Lesson from the Law Courts to the course against the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

The Palace of Justice siege was a 1985 attack against the Supreme Court of Colombia, in which members of an M-19 guerilla group held Supreme Court Justices hostage. This event continues to be the starting point of many legal and political studies. The present situation shows that the principle political event is the process of demobilization of the paramilitary as a possible niche of analysis.

Condemned by the Holocaust to give $10,000 million

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

In several sentences it is indicated that the State failed in an operation to recover the Palace. Nevertheless, in the penal and disciplinary system no one is condemned.

Hostages of yesterday and today

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Speaking of 20 years of horror with the Law Courts, Mauricio García Villegas, investigator of Dejusticia, reflects on the inflexible hand of the State to negotiate the freedom of hostages.

Re-election: Judgment of the Court?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Although the Court was declared constitutional in the re-election, the debate remains open, since President Uribe cannot be a candidate while statutory law of electoral guarantees does not exist, affrims Rodrigo Uprimny of Dejusticia

Is Colombia racist?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez maintains that, contrary to what the newspapers say, history and statistics show that Colombia is a racist country.

The land of displaced persons

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas, of Dejusticia, warns of the risk of the government bill to legalize property titles over land that ultimately benefits the mafia and paramilitary and not its victims.

Bolivia, in suspense...

By: Diego E. López Medina

Tuesday the 11th. Bolivia, like Colombia, is in suspense. The verdict of the Constitutional Court depends on this week’s December presidential elections. Diego López Medina explains the recent political turbulence of this Andean country.

Who cares for the children? The State or the family?

By: Helena Alviar García

As a result of the parents in Soacha who have demanded for food from their wives, Helena Alviar, of Dejusticia, proposes that the State guarantees the care of the children.

Ministry of Justice

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas, investigator of DeJusticia, discusses the two errors committed by the Minister of the Interior and Justice, Sabas Pretelt, in his statements about the dark pressures on the Constitutional Court.

The vulnerable power of the Colombian electoral

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo, investigator of Dejusticia, invites the re-evaluation of the electoral organization model in Colombia, based on the latest report of the UN.

Mississippi under water

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

"One must pray that because of Katrina and Kyoto, we are provided with a future without kafkiana," states Danilo Rojas, investigator of Dejusticia

Hurricane Katrina: A natural disaster or a political misery?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director of Dejusticia, emphasizes how Hurricane Katrina stripped many of the inequities of the current American politics.

Profession of Rulers

By: Mauricio García Villegas

A good part of the people today that defend a society run by engineers and economists have in mind the conservation of a tradition society organized divided by the split in privileges. Written by Mauricio García.

Little Lying Pastors

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez criticizes the proposal of the Anif to eliminate the business contribution of compensation boxes, the Seine and Family Welfare.

By: Diego E. López Medina

Diego López Medina calls on citizens to demand Congress to oblige the establishment of a truly independent electoral branch. See also a report of the Colombian Registry.

Science with a Conscience?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Sixty years after Hiroshima, Rodrigo Uprimny, Director of DJS and professor at the National University in Colombia, recalls the dangers of scientific development with an ethical conscience.

Twenty women and their influence on Feminism

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alvíar analyzes feminism since the controversial appointment of 20 women as local mayors in Bogotá.

"The law of Justice and Peace": Proceedings of Truth?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The truth is the basis of a process of respectful and lasting peace of victim’s rights, without truth it is not known who to punish or who to repair. Without truth it is difficult to set forth the mechanisms that can impede the reoccurrence of such atrocious conduct.

The truth of the law of justice and peace

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny thinks that it is unfortunate that the law of justice and peace does not establish appropriate legal media to reach the truth.

On truth and other devils

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas explains why the right of truth remains outside the Law of Justice and Peace and he informs about its unlucky consequences.

By: Diego E. López Medina

Agrarian Counter-reform

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Generally, counter-reformations are social or political reactions that seek to rejoin forces after a revolution or an important social or political change. In Colombia, the counter-reform is a reaction to nothing. The word ‘contra’ is a reference to an ideal that never existed.

If there is not a war why is there a commission of peace?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny, director de DJS, emphasizes the weakness of a government, that both denies and recognizes the existence of armed conflict.

Seeking: Ph.Ds

By: Diego E. López Medina

How do we form academic elites without forming elitists?

The Challenge of the New Public Prosecutor

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Be who it may, the new public prosecutor will have to watch out because the permanency in positions of the State does not depend on political influences. Juan Fernando Jaramillo, of Dejusticia, explains why.

The French Referendum from a tropical perspective

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Although it seems distant, the refusal of the French to the European Constitution is an important lesson for Colombians.

France rejects the European Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas offers a less optimistic interpretation of the triumph of the rejection of the European Constitution by France and Holland.

The Soap Opera of Leftist Latin America

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Many political commentators divide the leftist Latin America into two sectors: "modern" and "populist". César Rodríguez proposes a more complex view.

Another view about abortion

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alviar García e Isabel Cristina Jaramillo believe that the state contradicts itself by prohibiting abortion.

France and the European Constitution

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García V. explains the reasons for the agitated political debate in France because of the next referendum of the European Constitution.

By: Diego E. López Medina

The Ecuadorian crisis and the problem with Judicial independence

By: Helena Alviar García

The recent Ecuadorian crisis demonstrates that it is not possible to have democratic stability without an independent judicial system

Maximum Speed: 30km/hr

By: Diego E. López Medina

According to the professor Diego López, the police sometimes apply the speed limit strictly only to hound citizens.

Réquiem for the labor reform?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

There is a fight over the noteworthiness of the labor reform. César Rodríguez reviews the debate and maintains that in light of the uncertainty of numbers, the burden of proof on the government that corresponds with the defenders of the labor reform is the 480,000 new positions promised by the government.

If Shiavo were Colombian

By: Helena Alviar García

Helena Alvear, investigator with Dejusticia, explains the dilemmas concerning the right to die with dignity in Colombia.

Contradictions made by President Uribe

By: Mauricio García Villegas

Mauricio García Villegas, investigator with Dejusticia demonstrates the contradictions that President Uribe has made by denying that there is an armed conflict and at the same time treating dissidents as enemies.

The Bolivian crisis and the Parliamentarism option

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The development of the Bolivian crisis shows again the risks of a presidential rule and the possible benefits of a parliamentary state.

Defense of TransMilenio

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Juan Fernando Jaramillo, investigator with Dejusticia, gives a bitter defense of TransMilenio dispite all of its problems.

The census of what?

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, investigator at Dejusticia, warns about the dangers of having the census coincide with the electoral calendar.

Multinationals and Human Rights

By: Diego E. López Medina

The analyst, Diego López explains why the United Nations World Pact, which was recently signed, will be able to save the workers and consumers of multinationals.

Is the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Constitutional?

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

What happens if the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is a violation of the Colombian Constitution? César Rodríguez addresses this possibility and the consequences it would have on the trade agreement.

The Constitutional Court and the ability to examine the President´s re-election

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Rodrigo Uprimny states that the Constitutional Court is competent to thoroughly examine the immediate re-election of the President.

Premiering justice

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The new accusatory system that began to govern 20 days ago promises a substantial improvement in justice, but there is a lot to do to achieve it.

Is there justice?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The criminal trial reform seeks more efficient means of investigation, clearer judgments, more independent judges and more protected guarantees.

Criticisms of the Colombian Judicial Defense System: Response by Rodrigo Uprimny

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

The idea to improve the judicial defense system of Colombia is not that it will always be successful in winning cases but rather at times when cases are lost; it is because of the abuses that haunt you. Rodrigo Uprimny’s response to reactions to his column about the judicial defense system in Colombia.

What time is it? The re-election of Bush and the future of the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

The re-election of George W. Bush will bring important consequences for American foreign policy on Latin America. César Rodríguez analyzes the effect of the election results on the Colombian Plan and on the negotiations of the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Andean countries.

Lessons of Saramago

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas analyzes the ‘Essay on Lucidity’ by Saramago, which describes the incapacity of rulers to be viewed critically and their stupidity to believe that the population will always be seduced by their speeches that are rich with holiness or patriotism.

The weakness of a strong state

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The great majority of Colombians chose Alvaro Uribe as their president because they wanted a strong state. That state ended the idle pursuit of peace with subversion and ended the unworthy situation of the people by putting them into a relaxed atmosphere. After two years of Uribe government, the dignity of the state has once again found itself at rock bottom, this time caused by the process of peace of the Holy Faith of Ralito. Before the paramilitary, the Uribe government seemed as weak as or weaker than that of Pastrana in front of guerrilla warfare. Where is this promise of a strong state?

The problem with the State’s judicial defense system

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

According to Rodrigo Uprimny, an investigator at Dejusticia, the Colombian state which is one of the most frequent users of the judicial system is acting as a novice that loses many processes that it should have won. Uprimny quotes Diego López and Helena Alviar stating that the defense of the state should be "more modern and more efficient from a bureaucratic point of view and more democratic and inclusive from a social point of view".

The Justice Reform

By: Mauricio García Villegas

An investigator with DeJuSticia, Mauricio García V. alerts about the justice reform and the possiblity of converting the 1991 Constitution into a practicable constitution.

The True Judicial Activism: The Supreme Court of the United Status establishes limits on the fight on terrorism

By: Helena Alviar García

In a democracy, what are the limits of power of the executive to confront terrorism? Can a democracy, even when fighting terrorism, detain people indefinitely without access to a lawyer and without the guarantee of judicial review of the cause of his detention? The Supreme Court of the United States resolved these questions in two cases: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Rasul v. Bush. The opinions of the Supreme Court demonstrate that a democracy requires minimum guarantees that cannot be limited even in extreme circumstances, as in the current one, 'the fight against terrorism'. These opinions are important within a Colombian context for two reasons. In one way, they show that in a democratic system there is a division of powers as in the system of breaks and counterweights which is designed to avoid the total control of one branch of government. In these cases in particular, the judicial branch kept the executive power from being excessive and thus guaranteed the efficient exercise of fundamental rights. On the other hand, the opinions show that even the fight against terrorism has constitutional limitations that cannot be violated.

The United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and Labor Rights

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez, a member of the Sociology Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed an analysis of the labor rights within the scope of the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Venezuela after the Recall Referendum of 2004

By: Juan Fernando Jaramillo, q.e.p.d

Written by the constitutionalist, Juan Fernando Jaramillo: After the results of the recall referendum, the opposition should recognize the legitimacy of the Chávez government.

Variations about the Justification of Impunity

By: Danilo Rojas Betancourth

Danilo Rojas, investigator of Dejusticia, explores the diverse excuses used to justify the impunity in the processes of peace.

The VAT (GST) and the Constitutional Court

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

César Rodríguez defends the decision by the Colombian Constitutional Court to leave the tax reform that extends the VAT (GST) to the family basket alone.

Pension or Illusion?

By: Mauricio García Villegas

The constitutionalist, Mauricio García Villegas, analyzes the reaction of economists after the recent opinion by the Constitutional Court about the system of pension transactions and he concludes that they only value legal security when it benefits the businessmen. Forum with the readers.

By: Diego E. López Medina

Water and the General Inspector's Office

By: César Rodríguez Garavito

Deocracy or plutocracy?

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes

Congressist by chance

By: Mauricio García Villegas

¿Will Santos be the saviour that land restitution needs?

By: Nelson Camilo Sánchez

Institutions and narcotrafic: the judicial geography of drug related crimes

By: Mauricio García Villegas, Jose Rafael Espinosa, Felipe Jiménez Ángel

Access to justice: women, armed conflict and justice

By: Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez, Sylvia Cristina Prieto Dávila

Land restitución and gender perspective

By: Nina Chaparro , Diana Esther Guzmán Rodríguez

Justice for peace:mass-atrocity crimes and the right to justice and reconciliation

By: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Nelson Camilo Sánchez, Luz María Sánchez

Open letter to President Juan Manuel Santos

Defendant: Juan Manuel Santos

Intervention on political rights in the Legal Framework for peace

Defendant: Artículo 66 (parcial) y artículo 67 transitorios de la Constitución introducidos por el Acto Legislativo 01 de 2012

Intervention in tutela writ against the artistic project "Blanco Porcelana" on freedom of speech and the right to intimacy.

Defendant: Artistas del proyecto Blanco Porcelana

Human Rights report presented as an annex to the complaint presented by the Sindicato No. 1 de Panificadores Mapuche de Santiago de Chile

Defendant: República de Chile