At the time I write lines, the President of the Republic has not ruled on the decision of the Special Justice for Peace not to grant the extradition of Jesus Santrich, and the consequent “irrevocable” resignation of the prosecutor Néstor Humberto Martínez that decision provoked.
The institutional crisis caused by Martinez’s resignation is very real. At the same time, the underlying cause is small and trivial. And the disproportionate reaction is perfectly calculated, poisonous: hence the title of this column.
To understand it, it is worth reviewing the history of the episode superficially. I have already done it in previous columns, but the current situation has put journalists to systematically trace their chronology, which makes things much easier.
A Santrich he was captured to be committing crimes again, in particular for being trafficked. As I documented a while ago, both Martinez and the then President Santos declared that there was “irrefutable evidence”, with all the superlatives that could be added, about the twisted behavior of the person involved. But the days passed, and the tests did not come.
At some point, the JEP requested a copy of the file against Tantric to the North American authorities, but the initiative did not echo. The Prosecutor’s Office it is not known whether due to ineptitude or bad faith, or a combination of both he continued on his own: adorning the case with Greco-Caldense rhetoric, but without providing a piece of single substantive evidence.
Although I greatly respect the social division of labor, I do not frankly believe that this is a case worthy of great legal disquisitions. Santrich was accused of a very serious crime; If he committed a crime after signing the Agreement, he had to go to jail. But the accusers did not endorse his claim in any way even remotely plausible.
The completely unreasonable demand that Santrich is handed over without any support to the Trump government would have been the last trigger for the peace process. Which member of the demobilized guerrilla group could believe that they were sheltered by a minimum of legal stability if something of this nature happened?
Someone will want to criticize me for inviting me to say this to “appeasement.” But no. If they had shown that Santrich had committed a crime Come on: that did NOT happen. I am afraid, on the other hand, that there was a three-way carom either the JEP allowed Santrich to be extradited, which meant kneeling in public, or refusing to do so, which allowed her to face the wall. In both cases, a fundamental objective was achieved: to achieve, as it were, to narcotize the peace process and create a moral panic around it.
What in passing reflects the unreflective, and mephitic, the character of this storm in a cyanide vessel. Extradition is a judicial instrument, as good or as bad as any other. It is not an objective in itself. The performance of the State or a court cannot be measured by how many people extradite or fail to do so. It is measured by the attainment of social goods. One of them, I believe that the main one for the construction of society and State is that of peace.
Terribly toxic, for the rest, is that someone with the dignity of the attorney general is proclaiming that with this decision comes the end of the world and the triumph of drug trafficking and/or subversion. No: Mr. Santrich, a blind senior who apparently spends much of his time writing acrostics to Fidel Castro, does not have the capacity, support or skills to subvert global capitalism.
Instead, and exclusively because of this dark episode starring the Office of the Attorney General of Martinez, it suddenly symbolized the fragilities, ambivalence and perplexities of our peace process. His Prosecutor’s Office ends by slamming a dark, unhealthy character that leaves a brutal and dangerous legacy of deinstitutionalization.