The Luis Fernando Almario Rojas Case (June 2, 2016)

former Congressman for Caquetá (Colombia), Luis Fernando Almario Rojas
former Congressman for Caquetá (Colombia), Luis Fernando Almario Rojas

By: Gregorio A.
June 2, 2016 (Original publication in Spanish on April 9, 2016)
Review: Jasmine Soso

On Friday March 18, 2016, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia sentenced former Congressman Luis Fernando Almario Rojas to 120 months in prison for the crimes of conspiracy to promote illegal armed law.

More than a year after the trial, the highest court of justice in Colombia ruled in a case considered controversial, with a decision that CART is in disagreement, given the numerous inconsistencies and lack of legal rigor on the elements in which such decision was based. For over a year now, the ACDV has been insisting on the release of former congressman from Caquetá, considering that Mr. Almario is a victim of a set up with the participation of false witnesses. Luis Fernando Almario Rojas, arrested previously on July 4, 2012, was deprived of liberty for 57 months, much longer than the eight months allowed by law. Throughout the process the authorities have systematically refused to consider the many complaints that former congressman was introduced with the aim of drawing attention to the irregularities of it, fearing conviction for acts of which there is no reliable evidence. In our opinion, they deal only with allegations made by supposedly former members of illegal armed groups, and whose integrity and validity were not substantiated with the required rigor.

The judgment of the Supreme Court is a decision that not only affects the life and integrity of Mr. Almario Rojas and his family but even more, the country’s stability and credibility of its justice system. This decision is a sad victory of impunity that permeates the Colombian justice bodies. Moreover, it strengthens the use of false witnesses to get rid of the ones that are qualified as “inconvenient” to the interests of the various economic mafias and policies that control the institutions of justice in Colombia and they have been using this method for decades and systematically since the beginning of the demobilization of armed groups and implementation of the Law Justicia Y Paz.

The Law Justicia Y Paz, reduces the sentences of ex-paramilitaries in exchange for testimony or complaints. Although different from its original intent, implementation of the law gave birth to a multitude of false witnesses, brought by influential people to accuse innocent. Returning to the case of Luis Fernando Almario Rojas, although during the process documents were presented as recordings of a prosecutor who bought one of the witnesses, nothing happened to the prosecutor nor to the validity of the testimony.

The case of Mr. Almario Rojas highlights once again the urgency of reforming the system to ensure its primary function of protecting the Constitution and deliver justice. The team ACDV reiterates its commitment to continue working for the rights of victims of such injustice to be restored and regain their freedom. Given the firm conviction of his complete innocence, we reiterate our support for Mr. Luis Fernando Almario Rojas and his family.