The attorney general was named amid political unrest

ALJAZEERA

POSITIVE
Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon will lead probes into President Petro and his son after weeks of delay in the appointment process.
Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice has chosen Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon as the country’s new attorney general, amid ongoing turmoil for the government of President Gustavo Petro.
Camargo was a former judge who worked for the attorney general’s office for 12 years, starting in the 1990s.
She was also a prosecutor assigned to the Supreme Court of Justice, where she investigated ties between legislators and right-wing paramilitary groups.
“With 18 votes, Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon was elected as the country’s new attorney general,” Gerson Chaverra, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, told journalists on Tuesday.
The previous attorney general — Francisco Barbosa, a prominent Petro critic — saw his four-year term end in February.
Camargo’s appointment comes amid weeks of political tensions and protests over delays in naming an official to the role.
In January, Petro presented three candidates to the Supreme Court to succeed Barbosa, having pledged to fill the impending vacancy with a woman.
Last month, hundreds of pro-Petro protesters surrounded the Supreme Court to demonstrate against the slowdown.
Petro himself has been critical of the attorney general’s office for its probes into his campaign, and he has denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation into President Petro and his son will be headed by Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon, following weeks of postponement in the nomination process.

President Gustavo Petro’s administration is currently experiencing turmoil, but Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice has appointed Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon as the nation’s new attorney general.

Beginning in the 1990s, Camargo, a former judge, spent twelve years working for the attorney general’s office. She also worked as a prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Justice, where she looked into possible connections between lawmakers and right-wing paramilitary organizations.

A number of sensitive investigations, including one into claims of illicit funding for Petro’s 2022 presidential campaign, will be under her direction.

As part of an inquiry that started more than a year ago, the attorney general’s office is also currently prosecuting Nicolas, the eldest son of Petro and a former provincial legislator, for alleged corruption and money laundering.

Tuesday, Gerson Chaverra, president of the Supreme Court of Justice, told reporters that Luz Adriana Camargo Garzon had won the election with eighteen votes to become the nation’s new attorney general. There were twenty-three judges in total who could cast ballots.

February marked the end of the four-year term of the outgoing attorney general, Francisco Barbosa, a well-known opponent of Petro. Camargo’s appointment coincides with weeks of political unrest and demonstrations against the delays in appointing a representative to the position.

Petro, who had promised to appoint a woman to fill the upcoming vacancy, submitted three candidates to the Supreme Court in January to replace Barbosa. However, in the weeks that followed, the voting process had come to a standstill.

Hundreds of supporters of Petro gathered around the Supreme Court last month to voice their opposition to the slowdown.

Without putting further pressure on the court, the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanded that Barbosa’s replacement be chosen quickly.

Before Camargo was elected, there was another upheaval in the race on Tuesday when Amelia Perez, who had long been seen as the front-runner, declared she would not be running.

Perez’s chances had gotten worse recently as a result of the controversy surrounding her husband’s social media posts.

Gregorio Oviedo, Perez’s spouse, allegedly used his internet platforms to disparage the Supreme Court, other judges, and Petro’s son’s investigation. Publications such as Semana magazine reported on this.

Petro has denied any wrongdoing and has criticized the attorney general’s office for its campaign investigation efforts. In addition, right-wing lawmakers have fiercely opposed Petro, the first leftist president in Colombia’s contemporary history.

Camargo oversaw the investigations team at the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) from 2014 to 2017, the year she was appointed. Present Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez’s colleague in that capacity was her.

In the case of three Ecuadorean journalists who were abducted and murdered by an armed group in Colombia, Carmago also provided advice to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

A case claiming that the younger Petro accepted money from alleged drug traffickers in return for favorable treatment in his father’s “Total Peace” plan—a framework for putting an end to the armed conflict that has gripped Colombia for nearly 60 years—will be under Carmago’s purview as the country’s new attorney general.

Carmago will also oversee the ongoing legal battle against right-wing former president Alvaro Uribe, who is accused of fraud and witness tampering as part of a plot to refute claims that he was connected to paramilitary organizations.

The allegations made against Uribe have been refuted.

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