Archived the investigation against Gustavo Petro that opened the García Castellón court during the Colombian campaign
The National Court has reversed the decision of the court that directs Manuel Garcia Castellon to launch an investigation into the alleged involvement of the next Colombian president, the leftist Gustavo Petroin an alleged kidnapping committed in his country in 1981. The reinforcement magistrate of that court, Joaquín Gadea, admitted a complaint for processing on March 19, a week after Petro was designated a candidate by Colombia Humana.
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The order of the Third Section that orders the filing of the incipient investigation of Gadea shows its bewilderment at the arguments used by García Castellón's assistant judge. “The Chamber is surprised by the 'admission ad cautelam' of a complaint filed by someone who is not a victim of any act, regarding events that would have occurred in Colombia and that are attributed to people who are not Spanish and who do not habitually reside in Spain or that they were in Spain and their extradition had been denied”, reads the resolution, to which it has had access elDiario.es.
On March 13, 2022, Gustavo Petro was appointed candidate of the coalition with which he finally prevailed in the June elections. Five days later, "a journalist with knowledge of Law" -as the Colombian press refers to him-, named Francois Roger Cavard Martínez, registered his complaint in the National High Court after failing in his attempts before the Justice of his country.
In just seven days, and with the opposition of the Prosecutor's Office, Gadea admitted the complaint and ordered a battery of proceedings to the anti-terrorist structure of the Spanish Police. The General Information Police Station had to find out if the citizen supposedly kidnapped in July 1981 in Colombia, apparently of Valencian origin, Fernando González Pacheco, had Spanish nationality. In addition, the police officers had to contact their relatives or descendants to "request an offer of shares, offering them the possibility of suing."
The anti-terrorist agents should also contact the Colombian authorities to find out if Petro "enjoys the status of amnestied or pardoned, and especially, if he has been investigated, acquitted or convicted for the facts that are the subject of this procedure." The Spanish Police should also offer Petro the possibility of appearing in person in the procedure to exercise his right of defense.
The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber, chaired by Alfonso Guevara, annuls all those orders. The superior instance to Gadea concludes in its order that "it is not possible that the court" tries to supplant the Public Prosecutor's Office or the "offended" in some faculties that only these hold, and that in order to ignore it, it offers the argument that "it intends to inquire about the existence of heirs of the victim who want to file a complaint for some events of 1981”.
The order, of which Alfonso Guevara is also a rapporteur, includes another warning to Judge Gadea: “The exercise of jurisdiction by the court does not include the search for plaintiffs who support the essential criminal action to precisely have jurisdiction. The Public Prosecutor's Office, as stated in the appeal, understands that there is not a sufficient basis to file a complaint, which is essential for 'universal justice'”.
Kidnapping or interview?
Gustavo Petro's membership in the M-19 urban guerrilla, which he joined at the age of 17, is well known in Colombia. The economist spent a year and a half in prison without being brought to trial, was released in 1987 and participated in the peace talks with the Colombian government at the time.
Gustavo Petro's lawyer in Colombia, Daniel Prado, has denied Petro's participation "in this type of action" by the M-19. But perhaps the testimony that most questions the judicial investigation in Spain is that of one of the allegedly kidnapped journalists, Alexandra Pineda, who assures that she and the alleged Spanish victim, from different media outlets, received an offer to interview the head of the M -19, Jaime Bateman Cayón, and that they were transferred to a secret place for it.
Then a journalist from El Espectador, Alexandra Pineda defined the alleged kidnapping as a "strange report" that lasted more than seven hours "in the heat of a bottle of whiskey, during which there was a lot of talk, endlessly, without stopping, even reaching the exaltation of spirits, to debate, to a frank fight, but not of strength but of ideas”, reported La Politica Online. At the end of the meeting, Bateman handed them a letter with a negotiation offer for the Colombian government.
"A haunting tale"
Judge Joaquín Gadea alluded in his order of admission for processing to the "overwhelming factual account" described in the complaint of the journalist or lawyer who filed it. In his reasoned resolution, Gadea warned that the "apparent lack of connection with the Spanish jurisdiction" allowed to venture that it would be "hardly assumable by this Central Court of Instruction."
The news of the admission of the complaint against Petro by the court of Manuel García Castellón was published in Spain on May 30, the day after Petro prevailed in the first round of the Colombian elections with a narrow margin over the right-wing populist candidate Rodolfo Hernández, which forced the holding of a second round in the presidential elections.
On May 12, the Public Prosecutor's Office of the National High Court appealed the admission of the complaint and explained to the judge that the facts presented in it "would only be prosecuted in Spain after filing a complaint by the aggrieved party or the Public Prosecutor's Office" and not by a third person.