News Articles for August

A plea for Liliany Obando, Colombian political prisoner

by: W. T. Whitney Jr.

Political prisoners in Colombia now number over 7,500, including 700 captured guerrilla insurgents. The government is accused of violating judicial norms by consigning opponents to prison. Recent publicity on prisoner deaths and hunger strikes highlighted prisoner abuse. This political prisoner catastrophe has contributed to making Colombia a human rights wasteland, as have tens of thousands murder victims, displacement of millions from land, rampant poverty and witch-hunt built on supposed terrorist associations.

As of Aug. 8, Liliany Obando was imprisoned for three years at the high security Buen Pastor Women's Prison in Bogot√°. Her story epitomizes that of other political prisoners. She is charged with rebellion and providing funds for the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, but has been convicted of nothing. Following the nine-month-long investigative phase of her detention, judicial proceedings have proceeded at a snail's pace.

Class conflict, rural - urban divisions, and impunity for criminals created circumstances putting Obando and other political activists at high risk. Murderous paramilitaries associated with the Colombian military, narco-traffickers, mega landowners and multinational corporations control rural areas. Originally fighting for agrarian rights, leftist guerrillas, the FARC in particular, have waged war for almost 50 years. Alvaro Uribe, president from 2002 to 2010, presided over common graves containing thousands of bodies, U.S. takeovers of seven military bases and paramilitary insinuation into Colombian politics. Political resolution of the conflict ran afoul of ongoing slaughter of leftists and former insurgents belonging to the disappeared Patriotic Union electoral coalition, anti-union violence that has taken 27,000 lives since 1986 and terrorist allegations leveled against advocates for a negotiated settlement. Colombia during the past decade has received some $7 billion in military, police, and prison assistance from the United States.

Courageously, Liliany Obando stepped into this maelstrom. She is a documentary filmmaker, the single mother of two children, ages 16 and six, and at the time of her arrest she was a sociology graduate student at the National University. A week before that, she published a report documenting the killing from 1976 on of 1,500 members of the Fensuagro agricultural workers' union. Obando served as Fensuagro's human rights director. She had recently toured Australia, Canada and Europe seeking support for Fensuagro's educational and advocacy work. Along the way, she gained international recognition both as a spokesperson for the rights of women and rural families and as a critic of repression in Colombia.

Fensuagro, with 80,000 members, is the largest peasant and farm worker union in Colombia. Half its members are landless peasants, 30 percent small landowners, 20 percent sharecroppers and 43 percent women. For decades, conflict over land has been center stage in Colombia. Industrial scale agriculture, mining, oil extraction and hydroelectric projects are well ensconced. Multinational mining corporations, for example, hold concessions applying to 40 percent of Colombian land. Those in charge are on guard against the landless, small farmers and agricultural workers who fight for their rights, many of them African-descended or indigenous. The 1928 massacre by the Colombian army of 3,000 banana workers near Santa Marta set the tone. Liliany Obando, unsurprisingly, was targeted.

Obando describes herself as a communist and survivor of the Patriotic Union massacre. She told an interviewer: "My work has to do with bringing human rights tools and legal material to peasant communities ...That's what disturbs governments, all of them: the fact that there are people out there defending the human rights of the most vulnerable populations." In prison she advocates for fellow political prisoners, often protesting prisoner mistreatment.

The Colombian regime came across a tool for rounding up or intimidating enemies. On March 1, 2008, its military, relying on U.S. intelligence, decimated a FARC encampment in Ecuador. In the process, troops seized computers belonging to FARC leader Raul Reyes, killed in the attack. Within days, the government took information allegedly derived from Reyes' email communications to intensify repression that ensnared Liliany Obando. A year later, police functionary Ronald Coy, who handled the seized computer files, testified in court that the alleged material appeared in word documents, not emails, and was thus susceptible to manipulation.

In mid-May, 2011, the Colombian Supreme Judicial Court invalidated prosecution of ex-parliamentarian Wilson Borja, ruling that the government failed to demonstrate a legally valid chain of custody for the disputed computers files. Later, that decision led to the release of political prisoner Miguel Angel Beltran and withdrawal of an extradition request aimed at Chilean communist Manuel Oblate, both charged with supporting the FARC. Liliany Obando and other witch-hunt victims remain in custody.

Judicial proceedings in her case are glacially slow. Ever since prosecutors closed their investigation in April 2009, Obando's trial has revolved around infrequent public hearings. Yet the legally authorized time period for such hearings elapsed in April 2011, and under Colombian law, Obando should have been released. Nevertheless the court, seconded by an appeals judge, ruled that prolongation of the public hearing phase of her trial was "just and reasonable." A habeas corpus plea filed on Obando's behalf was denied in early August. The decision is being appealed.

Reportedly, hearings were delayed by the failure of court authorities to enable witnesses, particularly in Canada, to testify or submit evidence on Obando's behalf. Her lawyers count on such material to show that Fensuagro, not the FARC, was recipient of funds raised in Canada, also to clarify interviews she gave in Canada and emails she exchanged with her hosts. Failure of a prosecution witness to show up prompted the calling off of at least one hearing.

Meanwhile, repression continues in Colombia, unabated during the first year of President Juan Manuel Santos' presidency. In Putumayo, police recently arrested four Fensuagro members accused of "rebellion, narcotrafficking and terrorism." In Sucre, two Fensuagro unionists recently received death threats. Nationwide, one person has been killed every three days during Santos' first year, according to Justice for Colombia.org.

Organizations advocating for Liliany Obando and other political prisoners call for international support in the struggle for the prisoners' release. "Each time the Colombian government is condemned on the international stage, a bit more breathing space is opened up for us as union and social movements," Fensuagro spokesperson Parmenio Poveda last year told an Australian reporter. This campaign is part of a larger mobilization of international support for struggle inside Colombia to achieve a negotiated resolution of conflict there.

Among solidarity groups are those attending to popular struggle in Colombia generally and others focusing primarily on political prisoners. There are several avenues open to persons joining the fight on behalf of Liliany Obando and other political prisoners:  One, keep informed and, two, write Liliany Obando. Letters tell her and her jailers that she is not alone. Write to her in English or Spanish.

Her address is:

Liliany Patricia Obando Villota
TD 065593, Patio 7
Reclusorio de mujeres el Buen Pastor
Carrera 47 # 84-25
Entre Rios, Bogota
Colombia 

Liliany Obando's email address is campaign4freedom@gmail.com. 

In addition, persons working in support of Liliany Obando are urged to call for her release in letters addressed to Colombian political leaders. 

Send your letters to: 

Juan Manuel Santos, Presidencia de la Rep√ļblica, Carrera 8 No.7-26, Palacio de Nari√Īo - Bogot√°, D.C., E-mail: comunicacionesvp@presidencia.gov.co¬†

Juan Carlos Esguerra, Ministerio del Interior y de Justicia, Carrera 9a. No. 14-10 - Bogot√°, D.C. e-mail: ministro@minjusticia.gov.co - reclamos@mij.gov.co

Colombian Office of the United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights (Officina en Colombia del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos), Calle 114 No. 9-45 Torre B Oficina 1101, Edificio Teleport Bussines Park, Bogot√°, Colombia, E-mail: oacnudh@hchr.org.co.

 

This article was written for the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia's Political Prisoners.


FROM OPERATION PHOENIX TO FARC-POLITICA (FARC politics) -BRIEF MEMORIES OF AN UNJUST IMPRISONMENT-

By: Liliany Obando[1]

August 8, 2011

"... All political prisoners must be grateful
to their jailers who confirm to them, 
by deeds and on their person 
the validity of their convictions, 
the correctness of their path. 
Never is a person 
more certain in what they do 
when prolonged pain 
cannot take their breath away 
and defeat them... " 
(Spring with a broken corner, excerpt, pg. 162 Mario Benedetti).


Today marks 36 months from the time I was confined in a prison; "arrested" while I was subject to a judicial investigation that is still not over. 

I am a woman among more than 7,500 Colombian political prisoners, both men and women, who suffer and resist with dignity the harshness of a judicial system, prisons and a state that denies us and disqualifies us calling us ‚Äúterrorists‚ÄĚ and which seeks to annul us as individuals and break us as social and political activists.¬†

The prelude to this personal nightmare took place the morning of March 1, 2008, when under orders of then President Uribe, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos and the generals of the Armed Forces of Colombia unleashed Operation Phoenix on Ecuadorian territory. 

Operation Phoenix - WITHOUT TRUTH THERE IS NO RETURN FROM THE ASHES 

Operation Phoenix, which combined the participation of Army Special Forces, Police and the Colombian Air Force, with the possible involvement of a third country[2], would be from that time onwards the cause of a bitter controversy. On one hand are those from the side of the State who consider this operation a feat of "Heroes of the Nation" that resulted in the elimination of a significant ‚Äúenemy within‚ÄĚ no matter the political, diplomatic and legal cost to the country and that, after all, "the end justifies the means".¬†

On the other hand, there are those who believe that Operation Phoenix was a warmongering act that resulted in a flagrant violation of number of principles of national and international law, including the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another country ‚Äď Ecuador ‚Äď of the self-determination of peoples, treaties and bilateral and multilateral agreements on judicial and penal cooperation[3]; at the national level that such action was contrary to the precepts of the Constitution and criminal law. But it was also contrary to the rules of war, yes, because even war has limits and there is a warrior's code of honour, according to which anything most certainly does NOT go.¬†

The military objective of Operation Phoenix 

In military terms, Operation Phoenix sought to terminate what was considered a ‚Äúhigh value target‚ÄĚ. Military intelligence had located on the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, more precisely in Angostura, in the Province of Sucumb√≠os in Ecuador ‚Äď the camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, which would meet this objective: the insurgent leader and member of the Secretariat of FARC, Raul Reyes.¬†

Operation Phoenix then took place. First came a phase of softening of the terrain. Never mind that this goal lay beyond the Colombian border nor that it had no authorization from the Ecuadorian government headed by President Rafael Correa or the judicial authorities of that country to conduct the raid. 

The Colombian Air Force bombarded the encampment located in Ecuador with all its firepower. Then came the landing of the members of the Police Special Forces and the Colombian army to inspect and comb the bombed area, confirm their ‚Äúhigh value target‚ÄĚ and seize selectively, again without the authorization of competent judicial authority in Ecuador or Colombia, material evidence while at the same time altering the scene of the crime.¬†

In Operation Phoenix FARC guerrilla leader Raul Reyes and at least 24 other people, civilians and rebel fighters among them, died violently. Among the civilians killed were 4 Mexican students[4] and an Ecuadorian citizen[5]. Among the known survivors were a Mexican student and two wounded guerrillas[6]. 

Two of the bodies of interest to the Colombian armed forces, that of Raul Reyes and another who they believed was Juli√°n Conrado were illegally removed from site and transported to Colombia without complying with the established protocols for the removal of the deceased. Images of the bodies ‚Äď a war trophy ‚Äď were presented in grotesque form in the media.¬†

Even today the real cause of the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes is not known. His body was never released to his family. Today he counts among the more than 50,000 disappeared in Colombia. 

The other body, turned out to be the Ecuadorian citizen Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina and not that of the guerrilla Julián Conrado. Once identified his body was repatriated to Ecuador. A lawsuit filed is now pending before the Commission on Human Rights against the Colombian state by the Ecuadorian government for the killing; the extrajudicial execution of this citizen[7]. 

THE SO-CALLED FARC POLITICS 

¬†The other component of Operation Phoenix took shape at the political and legal level. In 2008, the para-politics scandal, which compromised a large number of members of the political class mostly associated with the Uribe government, was at its peak. To lay a smokescreen on this issue, the government fabricated what would become known as FARC-POLITICA ‚Äď FARC politics. It was based on supposed evidence ‚Äď material (computers, removable hard drives and USB sticks) ‚Äď illegally obtained by members of the armed forces who participated on the raid the camp of Raul Reyes in Ecuador.¬†

This evidence was collected in an arbitrary and illegal way by military personnel and police who, contrary to what some officials of the current and former government say, had no judicial function as police. This was stolen in fact, in another country without the express authorization of the judicial authorities of Ecuador, affecting the scene of the crime and violating international protocols in collecting material evidence on foreign soil. 

It was the then police major Camilo Ernesto Alvarez Ochoa[8] who, as commander of the Group Against High-Value Targets, Special Operations Command (COPES) ‚Äď one of those who collected the material evidence‚Äď illegally stole and, as first respondent in the "chain of custody", transported the aforementioned material to Colombia.¬†

Back in Colombia, in the municipality of Puerto Asis, Putumayo, on that same March 1, 2008, major Alvarez presented the material evidence to the then police captain of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and Intelligence (DIJIN), Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, who from that time until March 3, would serve as the second respondent of the hardware and its ‚Äúchain of custody‚ÄĚ.¬†

Captain Coy, without being a computer expert, from 1 to March 3, 2008, manipulated the said physical evidence without following established protocols for treating it. Without any expertise in information technology for creating the "mirroring" necessary for the analysis of information, he directly accessed the files, which under oath he later said were not emails but Word files (documents)[9], and which he additionally opened, read and copied to his personal computer. And he duly sent copies of them, considering them important to the "National Security", to the Colombian Defence Ministry, all without obtaining a warrant from any competent authority.

The Colombian Defence Ministry, in turn, selectively leaked some of these documents to the media, in violation of summary discretion regarding the supposed prime evidence that would be used during the so-called FARC-politics. 

Only on March 3, 2008, did Captain Coy present the "evidence" in the city of Bogota, to major Freddy Bautista Garcia of the National Police, then head of the Computer Crimes Taskforce of DIJIN. It was major Bautista, who after processing the said physical evidence and first creating the "mirror copy" of it with his team of experts, who suggested that INTERPOL[10] should certify the procedure to validate the test. 

THE BEGINNING OF A NIGHTMARE WITHOUT END 

With the fury of the Operation Phoenix still lighting their faces, in May 2008 the then Prosecutor General Mario Iguarán, along with Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, appeared before the media to publicly announce the opening of a judicial investigation into Colombian citizens and foreign nationals under the so-called FARC-politics, a process built on the basis of the information allegedly obtained from the electronic equipment of Raul Reyes during Operation Phoenix. 

To my surprise, I heard my name on the lips of prosecutor Iguar√°n next to those of renowned personalities from politics, academia and journalism. Among those mentioned were Polo Democratico Alternativo [Democratic Pole] congress members Gloria Ines Ramirez and Wilson Borja , the then Liberal Party Senator Piedad Cordoba, a former minister √Ālvaro Leyva Duran, journalists Carlos Lozano Guillen, William Parra and Lazaro Viveros, the American academic James Jones and the Venezuelan parliamentarian Amilcar Figueroa. Over time this list would be expanded with new names. The common factor among those who were included in this line was the commitment taken up in the different areas of work of each one of us, some of us from the political opposition, to the defence of human rights, the search for scenarios of peace and humanitarian accords.¬†

After this statement came moments of anxiety for my family and I. My life until then had passed between my professional work as a sociologist, my commitment to defending human rights, women’s and labour rights, my membership in the left as a political option[11]; my academic pursuits in the Masters in Political Studies at the National University of Colombia (I was preparing graduate thesis), and raising my children (4 and 15 years) as a single mother and head of my family. It had been radically changed, but not in fundamental matters. 

Faced with the impending trial I started to seek legal assistance to take up my defence. 

On August 8, 2008, while reading news online there was one item that caught my complete attention ‚Äď it was regarding the arrest warrant issued against me. Hours later my home was raided and I was led into the cells of the DIJIN and then to the Women's Prison in Bogot√° where I remain still, 36 months later, with the status of CHARGED waiting for justice to be done in my case and a clear abuse of pre-trial detention.¬†

In the raid, heavily armed police (DIJIN) participated and succeeded in intimidating my elderly mother and my little children. At the site, they seized documents, including some belonging to my mother and children, which are among the evidence being used against me. 

Leading the raid and "capture" was the same captain of the DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, who had participated in Operation Phoenix.  He sarcastically said to me among other things, it would make me famous, nationally and internationally, while other police filmed everything around me, including my family members and myself from all angles. There was a moment that made me curious when the police cameraperson was ordered from the place in an urgent tone. A few minutes later, while the raid was still in progress, images of the operation were transmitted on television. During this the police paused to watch the media spectacle with their chest puffed out by the "positive" result. 

With my detention the process of the FARC-politics began. It is a political rather than legal process, which seems to languish now because of the arbitrariness and illegality on which it was built. 

On 11 August 2008, while still isolated in the cells of the DIJIN, I was taken before the anti-terrorism prosecutor number 19, Nancy Esperanza Pardo Bonilla. I would find out the reasons why I was being linked to the process of FARC-politics and the charges made against me.

Before returning to the prosecutor‚Äôs cells, some journalists tried to get a statement from me. Stuck in my memory is the first question a journalist put to me, "Is it true that you were the mistress of Raul Reyes?" I looked at her and replied, "That's not true and this type of malicious slander violates my dignity as a woman and a human being. " I do not really know what offended me more, that the public was being subjected to a falsehood that left a lasting mark on my honour, or knowing that I was being used as cannon fodder by those from ‚Äúmilitary intelligence‚ÄĚ who just wanted to smear the image the insurgent leader.¬†

Finally during the questioning, the prosecutor laid charges of rebellion and managing resources for terrorist purposes against me, based on the alleged information obtained from the computing devices of the late leader of FARC, Raul Reyes. Charges I did not accept and consciously I prepared to subject myself to a trial to prove my innocence. The prosecutor then decided to issue a security measure against me by placing me in a prison facility. It was the first time I was to be denied the benefit of home detention despite having fully demonstrated my status as a single mother. Later I would be denied the benefit a further 9 times, being considered a "danger to society" ‚Äď something that does not happen to white collar criminals who are granted this benefit without any obstacle.¬†

On 14 August 2008, I was then sent to the Bogot√° women‚Äôs prison ‚Äď ‚ÄúEl Buen Pastor" ‚Äď wing 6, which is the wing where most of the women political prisoners are held. Thus I became the first Colombian and the only woman deprived of their freedom under the so-called FARC-politics.¬†

OTHER ILLEGAL PROCESSES

From the time I was linked to illegal evidence ‚Äď the prosecution of the FARC-politics ‚Äď I was subjected to a media storm in which I was attributed as having ‚Äúromantic ties‚ÄĚ with the late leader of FARC, Raul Reyes; to having a string of responsibilities that I never had. This situation affected not only my honour and my reputation but has also triggered instances of degrading treatment, insults and even death threats against me with resulting security problems for my family and myself.¬†

In jail, the political prisoners must carry the stigma of the ‚Äúcrime‚ÄĚ we have foisted on us. Rebellion gives us a ‚Äúhighly dangerous‚ÄĚ profile; we are considered the ‚Äúenemy within‚ÄĚ, except that we are behind bars. In these circumstances, my continued commitment to the defence of human rights, including those of my new comrades in prison has led to me be being singled out and persecuted by the prison authorities, INPEC[12].¬†

In June 2011, as a result of that singling out, I was transferred within the same prison from wing 6 to wing 7, where I am isolated from the rest of my fellow political prisoners and subjected to enhanced security measures. 

Besides being linked to a jury trial on the basis of illegal evidence, with the consequent arbitrary detention, the process against me has been attended by flagrant irregularities from the preliminary stage to this point: 

- The "crime" of rebellion was also attributed to me, which is a political crime and the jurisdiction of regular courts, while the crime of resource management for terrorist purposes, is a non-political crime and subject of specialized judicial processes. 

It has been a strategy of prosecutors to charge political opponents with crimes associated with terrorism, together the "crime" of rebellion, in order to aggravate the judicial situation with long sentences, increase the time required for the development of trials and impede access to legal benefits for the accused and convicted. 

On account of this strategy I have been denied home detention repeatedly. I was subjected to preventive detention, which is an extraordinary measure, that has been extended over the period for the conduct of the trial. 

- After prosecutor 19 issued the indictment against me and it became final on April 8, 2009 the public hearing and preliminary hearing before trial began under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Criminal Court of the Specialized Circuit of Bogot√°. During the preliminary hearing, my defence requested access to all the "Prime Evidence" evidence, i.e. files obtained in Operation Phoenix, but this request was denied. Both judge and prosecutor allowed access only to summaries of the files that were considered directly related to me. Thus the procedural unity of everyone linked to the process of FARC-politics was broken, those for whom the "Prime evidence‚ÄĚ was precisely those files obtained in Operation Phoenix.¬†

In this way those linked to the aforementioned process were prevented from taking up a collective defence. The investigation was individualised for each of us and we were allowed to see only fractions of the "Prime evidence‚ÄĚ. This seriously affected the protection of due process and fair trial.¬†

- By being subjected to specialized justice, trial-times in the process of public hearing have been long and have had interruptions. To this point it has been 24 months from the start of the public hearing and 32 months since my "preventative detention" and this stage it has not been completed despite the fact I have the right to my freedom due to expiration of terms. 

On April 11, 2011 we requested my freedom under expiration of terms, but on April 13 the Ninth Judge of the Criminal Circuit denied it, on the basis that the public hearing has not been terminated for "just and reasonable cause," because the defence had requested the taking of evidence abroad, and in the meantime I would be ensured due process. 

In the face of this legal absurdity, we filed appeals and a writ of Habeas Corpus[13] to demand my release for expiration of terms, but both the Superior Court of Bogota, who learned of the appeal, and the judge considering the Habeas Corpus refused to grant immediate release. 

- On May 18, 2011, the Supreme Court of Justice, Criminal Division, issued a self-inhibiting writ[14] in the case of former congressman linked to the process of FARC-politics. With this order, the Court held that items of physical evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix, which had been used as evidence in the case against former congressman Wilson Borja are illegal and that in law they cannot be used in the case Borja nor any other case as they have no legal validity. 

On August 1, 2011, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice unanimously upheld the ruling handed down on May 18, 2011 declaring illegal material evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix and the inadmissibility of this in any judicial proceeding as evidence. 

Based on that ruling, Professor Miguel Angel Beltran was released on June 3, 2011. Professor Beltran had also been linked to the process of FARC-politics and remained unjustly deprived of freedom for 2 years. The extradition to Colombia of communist leader Manuel Olate was stopped and he was able to clarify his legal situation in his country. 

- For his part, based on the ruling of the Supreme Court, my defence lawyer requested in July 2011 a Control of Legality before Judge 9 of the Specialised Criminal Circuit, Danae Hinestroza Rengifo and requested my freedom for being arbitrarily detained on the basis of illegal evidence. The trial judge once again rejected the defence request. 

-On August 1, 2011 we resubmitted our writ of habeas corpus in consideration of the fact that not only had I been deprived of my freedom arbitrarily and illegally but there had also been an extension of the illegal detention. We based our request on the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice, Criminal Chamber, on May 18, 2011 and its ratification of August 1, 2011 in declaring void for lack of legal validity, "evidence" obtained illegally in Operation Phoenix and which has been used against me. 

Inexplicably, the judge responsible for hearing the Habeas Corpus, Labour Circuit Judge 30 of Bogotá, Mario Alfonso Araujo Monroi denied as "inappropriate" our petition based on spurious legal arguments. 

It is evident that during these 36 months, my "preventive detention" in a prison facility has violated many rights: the presumption of innocence, due process, to self-defence, procedural guarantees and my freedom. It has caused me irreparable damage in material and moral terms. Therefore through my defence, we have requested interim measures of protection to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 

The truth is that three years after the controversial Operation Phoenix, the monster of the FARC-politics languishes. Fortunately, since many people unfairly linked to this process have been acquitted, only Joaquin Pérez Becerra and I are still deprived of our freedom. 

Meanwhile my days are spent in a high security cell isolated from the rest of my fellow political prisoners, but with dignity, high morale and standing tall. 

We continue to fight for the freedom of all Colombian political prisoners. 

Someday it will be possible, and I will continue working freely once more for a truly democratic country enjoying political inclusion, social justice and peace. 

These 36 months of unjust incarceration have been less torturous thanks to the invaluable solidarity and expressions of affection of many, many comrades and many others who, even without knowing them have become sensitized to my case and that of more than 7500 Colombian political prisoners. 

To all the trade unions, activists for human rights, peace and social justice, the alternative media, the opposition political parties, the democratic lawyers and the parliamentarians who come together from different latitudes of the globe, in the campaign to free Colombia’s political prisoners, my gratitude and affection. 

Special thanks to the comrades of the International Network in Solidarity with Colombia‚Äôs Political Prisoners (INSPP), to the Solidarity Campaign for Political Prisoners in Canada, Justice for Colombia in the UK, the circles of Solidarity for Colombia and Peace and Justice for Colombia in Australia, the Alliance for Global Justice in the United States, the Solidarity Campaign for Colombian Political Prisoners, "Building Bridges of Solidarity" in Cuba, the Bolivarian Agency of Humanitarian Affairs, Homeland is Solidarity in Venezuela, the Campaign for Freedom for Colombian Political Prisoners in France; the Free the Political Prisoners campaign ‚ÄúBeyond the Walls", the Ties of Dignity Foundation, the Eduardo Uma√Īa Mendoza Legal Brigade, the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Colombia.¬†

To the lawyers who have contributed to my defence Matyas Eduardo Camargo, Gustavo Gallardo, Santiago Ortiz and July Henriquez.

To my friend and comrade Raul Arango, always supportive of the El Buen Pastor political prisoners, to Niki, wherever you are. 

To my comrade and friend Nestor Montilla who always stood by me while he was alive and who is still with me. 

To my small but unconditionally loving family, 

To each and every one of you, thank you very much and a fraternal embrace. 

LILIANY OBANDO, political prisoner; survivor of the genocide against the Patriotic Union. 

Women's Prison ‚ÄúEl Buen Pastor‚ÄĚ, Bogota, AUGUST 8, 2011.¬†

NOTES:


[1] Political prisoner, who survived the genocide against the Patriotic Union; Sociologist, defender of human rights, of women’s and workers’ rights. 

[2] "The government of Ecuador... argues that according to the remnants of the bombs found in the encampment, they require advanced launching technology of the sort the Colombian Air Force doesn’t possess." Report by the Organisation of American States, OAS commission that visited Ecuador and Colombia. Twenty-fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, March 17, 2008, Washington, pg. 7

 [3] Colombia is a State member to the Organization of American States OAS, as such it approved the Inter American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Nassau, Bahamas on May 23, 1992 and the optional protocol to the convention on Criminal mutual assistance adopted in Managua, Nicaragua on June 11, 1998. Act 636 of 2001. Colombia also approved the agreement on judicial cooperation and mutual assistance in criminal matters between the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Ecuador, signed at Santa Fe de Bogota, DC, December 18, 1996. Act 519 of 1999. 

[4] Verónica Natalia Vázquez Ramírez, Fernando Franco Delgado, Soren Ulises Aviles, Juan Gonzalez del Castillo, students from the Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM. 

[5] Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina

[6] Martha Perez and Diana Gonzales, FARC guerrillas and Lucia Morett Alvarez, found by the Ecuadorian military. 

[7] The Ecuadorian state accused the Colombian state for the homicide "extrajudicial execution" of Franklin Aisalla before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. According to the Ecuadorian state, Aisalla was beaten to death with a rifle used to smash his skull. 

[8] Today an investigation is being conducted in Ecuador against the high command of the Colombian Armed Forces who participated in Operation Phoenix, including then police major Camilo Ernesto Alvarez Ochoa, commander of the Group of High Value Targets; Special Operations Command (COPES). 

9 The then captain of the National Police, DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz who was custodian of the physical evidence obtained in Operation Phoenix declared under oath that those files were not emails but Word documents. 

[10]According to the INTERPOL report on the validity of the procedures used in the treatment of devices obtained in Operation Phoenix of 1 to March 3, 2008, about 48,000 files were handled without full observance of the protocols for this purpose. 

[11] A state like the Colombian one that proclaims itself democratic and a ‚Äúsocial state of law‚ÄĚ must ensure the inclusion and participation of the political opposition.¬†

[12] The Penitentiaries and Prisons Institute 

[13] A fundamental right and constitutional action, article 30 of the National Constitution. 

[14] According to Article 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Law 600 of 2000 "... it becomes imperative to issue an inhibitory decision when there has been no such behaviour, is atypical, is credited a defence of causal responsibility, or criminal proceedings are not legally viable" ... page 3. Supreme Court, Criminal Court of Cassation, Bogot√°, DC May 18, 2011.


Three years of unjust imprisonment - letter from Liliany Obando

The following is a letter from Colombian political prisoner Liliany Obando written on the third anniversary of her arrest and detention on politically motivated charges. It is in Spanish only at the moment - an English language version will be posted as soon as possible.

DE LA OPERACI√ďN F√ČNIX A LA FARC- POLITICA -MEMORIAS BREVES DE UN INJUSTO ENCIERRO-

Por: Liliany Obando

Agosto 8 de 2011

“… Todo preso político debe
agradecer
a sus carceleros que le confirmen,
en los hechos y sobre su persona
la validez de sus convicciones,
la razón de pasos.
Nunca un hombre
est√° m√°s seguro de lo que hace,
que cuando un dolor prolongado
no logra quitarle el aliento
y derrotarlo‚Ķ‚ÄĚ
(Primavera con una esquina rota
 Fragmento, pg. 162
Mario Benedetti).



 

Hoy se cumplen 36 meses desde cuando fui confinada en¬† una prisi√≥n ‚Äúdetenida preventivamente‚ÄĚ mientras se me somet√≠a a una investigaci√≥n judicial que a√ļn no termina.

Soy una mujer m√°s entre los m√°s de 7.500 prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s colombian@s quienes padecemos y resistimos con dignidad la dureza de un sistema judicial, penitenciario y carcelario y de un Estado que nos niega y nos descalifica tild√°ndonos de ‚Äúterroristas‚ÄĚ y que en prisi√≥n busca anularnos como personas y quebrarnos como luchadores sociales y pol√≠ticos.

El preludio de esta pesadilla personal tuvo lugar la madrugada del 1 de marzo de 2008, cuando bajo las ordenes del entonces presidente Uribe; del Ministro de Defensa Juan Manuel Santos y del generalato de la Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia se ejecutaba la Operación Fénix en territorio ecuatoriano.

LA OPERACI√ďN F√ČNIX ‚Äď SIN VERDAD NO HAY RETORNO DE LAS CENIZAS-

La Operaci√≥n F√©nix en la que participaron conjuntamente¬† fuerzas Especiales del Ej√©rcito, la Polic√≠a y¬† la Fuerza A√©rea Colombiana, con la posible¬† coadyuvancia de un tercer pa√≠s2,¬† Ser√≠a desde entonces motivo de una dura pol√©mica. Por una parte, est√°n quienes desde el lado del Estado consideran esta operaci√≥n como una proeza de los ‚ÄúH√©roes de la patria‚ÄĚ que arrojo como resultado la eliminaci√≥n de un importante ¬īenemigo interno¬ī¬† no importa los costos pol√≠ticos, diplom√°ticos y jur√≠dicos para el pa√≠s; al fin y al cabo, -‚Äúel fin justifica los medios‚ÄĚ-.

Por otra parte est√°n quienes creen que la operaci√≥n F√©nix constituy√≥ un exceso guerrerista que devino en la flagrante violaci√≥n de una serie de principios de la legislaci√≥n nacional e internacional, entre ellos el de la integridad territorial y soberan√≠a de otro pa√≠s ‚ÄďEcuador-; el de la autodeterminaci√≥n de los pueblos; de tratados y convenios bilaterales y multilaterales en materia de cooperaci√≥n judicial y penal3. En lo nacional dicha acci√≥n que fue contraria a lo preceptuado en la Constituci√≥n Pol√≠tica y en la legislaci√≥n penal. Pero tambi√©n result√≥ contraria a las reglas de la guerra, si, porque hasta la guerra tiene l√≠mites y existe un c√≥digo de honor del guerrero, seg√ļn el cual NO TODO SE VALE.

EL OBJETIVO MILITAR DE LA OPERACI√ďN F√ČNIX

En materia militar, con la Operaci√≥n F√©nix se buscaba dar de baja a quien era considerado como un ¬īObjetivo de alto valor¬ī. La inteligencia militar hab√≠a ubicado en la frontera colombo-ecuatoriana, m√°s exactamente en Angosturas, provincia de Sucumb√≠os- Ecuador un campamento de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-FARC, en el que se encontrar√≠a dicho objetivo: el jefe insurgente e integrante del secretariado de las FARC, Ra√ļl Reyes.

La Operación Fénix tuvo lugar entonces: Primero vino una fase de ablandamiento del terreno. No importó que ese objetivo estuviera por fuera de la frontera colombiana ni que no mediara autorización del gobierno ecuatoriano en cabeza del presidente Rafael Correa ni de las autoridades judiciales de ese país para realizar dicha incursión.

La Fuerza A√©rea Colombiana bombarde√≥, con todo su poder de fuego, el campamento ubicado en Ecuador, luego vino el desembarco a√©reo de los miembros de las fuerzas Especiales de la Polic√≠a y el ej√©rcito colombianos para inspeccionar y copar el √°rea bombardeada, corroborar la baja de su ¬īobjetivo de alto valor¬ī e incautar selectivamente, de nuevo, sin autorizaci√≥n de autoridad judicial¬† competente de Ecuador ni de Colombia evidencia material, alterando la escena de los hechos.

En la Operaci√≥n F√©nix murieron violentamente el jefe guerrillero de las FARC, Ra√ļl Reyes y al menos otras 24 personas entre civiles y combatientes rebeldes. Entre los civiles murieron 4 estudiantes mexicanos4¬† y un ciudadano ecuatoriano5.

Entre los sobrevivientes conocidos se encontraron una estudiante mexicana y dos guerrilleras heridas6.

Dos de los cuerpos, los de inter√©s para las fuerzas armadas colombianas, el de Ra√ļl Reyes y el de quien cre√≠an era el guerrillero Juli√°n Conrado fueron sustra√≠dos ilegalmente del lugar y transportados a Colombia sin cumplir los protocolos¬† establecidos para el levantamiento de los occisos. Sus im√°genes-el trofeo de guerra- fueron presentadas de forma grotesca en los medios de comunicaci√≥n.

Aun hoy se desconoce la causa real de la muerte del jefe de las FARC, Ra√ļl Reyes. Su cuerpo nunca fue entregado a sus familiares. Hoy se encuentra entre los m√°s de 50.000 desaparecidos en Colombia.

El otro cuerpo, resultó ser el del ciudadano ecuatoriano Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina y no del guerrillero  Julián Conrado, este una vez identificado fue repatriado a Ecuador. Hoy cursa ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos una demanda contra el Estado colombiano interpuesta por el gobierno ecuatoriano por el homicidio -ejecución extrajudicial- de este ciudadano ecuatoriano7.

LA DENOMINADA FARC-POLITICA

El otro componente de la Operaci√≥n F√©nix tomo forma en el plano pol√≠tico y jur√≠dico. En el 2008 el esc√°ndalo de la PARAPOLITICA, que compromet√≠a a un gran n√ļmero de miembros de la clase pol√≠tica, en su mayor√≠a asociados al gobierno Uribe, estaba en un punto de cl√≠max. Para tender una cortina de humo sobre este asunto, el gobierno fabrico lo que denominar√≠a como FARC-POLITICA, basada en la supuesta evidencia material (computadores, discos duros extra√≠bles y usbs) ilegalmente obtenida por miembros de las fuerzas armadas que intervinieron en la incursi√≥n en el campamento de Ra√ļl Reyes en Ecuador.

Dicha evidencia material fue recolectada de forma arbitraria e ilegal por personal militar, y de policía, quienes, contrario a lo que afirman algunos funcionarios del anterior y actual gobierno, no contaban con funciones de policía judicial. Esta fue sustraída de facto, en territorio de otro país y sin la autorización expresa de autoridad judicial del Ecuador, afectando la escena  de los hechos y violando los protocolos internacionales en materia de recolección de materiales probatorios en territorio extranjero.

Fue el entonces mayor de la polic√≠a Camilo Ernesto √Ālvarez ochoa8, como comandante del Grupo Contra Objetivos de Alto Valor-comando de Operaciones especiales-COPES- uno de quienes recolectaron la evidencia material, la sustrajo ilegalmente y en calidad de primer respondiente de la ‚Äúcadena de custodia‚ÄĚ transport√≥ dicho material hacia territorio colombiano.

Ya en Colombia, en el municipio de Puerto As√≠s, Putumayo, el mismo 1 de marzo de 2008, el mayor √Ālvarez hizo entrega del material probatorio al entonces capit√°n de la polic√≠a (DIJIN) Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, quien a partir de ese momento y hasta el 3 de marzo, fungir√≠a como el segundo respondiente de ese material inform√°tico y su ¬īcadena de custodia‚Äô.

El capit√°n Coy, sin ser perito inform√°tico, del 1 al 3 de marzo de 2008, manipulo dicha evidencia f√≠sica sin cumplir con los protocolos establecidos para el tratamiento de la misma. Sin que personal especializado en inform√°tica hubiere creado la ‚Äúcopia espejo‚ÄĚ, necesaria para el an√°lisis de la informaci√≥n, accedi√≥ directamente a los archivos, de los cuales posteriormente¬† en declaraci√≥n juramentada dijo que no se trataban de correos electr√≥nicos sino de archivos WORD (documento).

9¬† adicionalmente abri√≥, ley√≥ y copio en su computador personal dichos archivos. Y no conforme con ello, entrego copias de los mismos, por considerarlos de importancia para la ‚ÄúSeguridad Nacional‚ÄĚ al Ministerio de Defensa Colombiano, todo esto sin que mediara orden de autoridad competente alguna.

El Ministerio de Defensa colombiano, a su vez filtró a los medios algunos de estos documentos, escogidos selectivamente, violando así la reserva sumarial de la supuesta prueba reina que usarían en la denominada FARC-POLITICA.

Solo hasta el 3 de marzo de 2008, el capit√°n Coy hizo entrega de la ‚Äúevidencia‚ÄĚ, en la ciudad de Bogot√°, al mayor Freddy Bautista Garc√≠a, de la polic√≠a Nacional, entonces al frente del Grupo de Delitos Inform√°ticos de la DIJIN. Fue el mayor Bautista quien despu√©s de procesar con su equipo de peritos dicha evidencia f√≠sica y crear por primera vez la ‚Äúcopia espejo‚ÄĚ de la misma, sugiri√≥ que la INTERPOL10 certificara dicho procedimiento para validar esa prueba.

EL INICO DE UNA PESADILLA QUE NO TERMINA

Todav√≠a con el furor de la Operaci√≥n F√©nix que se rebelaba¬† en sus rostros iluminados, en el mes de mayo¬† de 2008, el entonces fiscal General de la Naci√≥n Mario Iguar√°n, junto al Ministro de Defensa, Juan Manuel Santos, aparecieron ante los medios de comunicaci√≥n para anunciar p√ļblicamente la apertura de una investigaci√≥n judicial contra vari@s ciudadan@s colombian@s y extranger@s dentro de la llamada FARC-POLITICA, proceso construido sobre la base de la informaci√≥n supuestamente obtenida de los elementos inform√°ticos de Ra√ļl Reyes en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix.

Para mi sorpresa, escuche en boca del fiscal Iguar√°n mi nombre, que aparec√≠a junto al de connotadas personalidades de la vida pol√≠tica, acad√©mica y period√≠stica; entre ellos se mencionaba a l@s congrsist@as del Polo Democr√°tico Alternativo, Gloria In√©s Ram√≠rez y Wilson Borja; a la entonces senadora del Partido Liberal Piedad C√≥rdoba; al ex ministro √Ālvaro Leyva Duran; a los periodistas Carlos Lozano Guillen, William Parra y L√°zaro Viveros; al acad√©mico estadounidense James Jones y al parlamentario venezolano Am√≠lcar Figueroa. Con el tiempo esta lista se ir√≠a ampliando con nuevos nombres. El factor com√ļn entre quienes fuimos incluidos en esta l√≠nea es el compromiso asumido desde los diferentes espacios de trabajo de cada un@, alg√ļn@s de nosotr@s desde la oposici√≥n pol√≠tica, con la defensa de los derechos humanos, la b√ļsqueda de escenarios de paz y de acuerdo humanitarios.

Despu√©s de esa alocuci√≥n vinieron momentos de zozobra para m√≠ y mi familia. Mi vida que hasta entonces transcurr√≠a entre mi trabajo profesional como soci√≥loga; mi compromiso con la defensa de los derechos humanos, de las mujeres y laborales;¬† mi militancia en la izquierda como opci√≥n politica11;¬† mi actividad acad√©mica en la maestr√≠a en Estudios Pol√≠ticos en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (estaba preparando min tesis de grado), y la crianza de mis hij@s(4 y 15 a√Īos) como madre cabeza de familia, cambi√≥ radicalmente, aunque no en lo fundamental.

Ante el inminente proceso judicial me dispuse a buscar ayuda legal para asumir mi defensa.

El 8 de agosto de 2008, mientras leía noticias en internet hubo una que ocupo toda mi atención, se trataba de la orden de captura en mi contra. Horas más tarde era allanada mi residencia y yo era conducida a los calabozos de la DIJIN y de ahí a la reclusión de Mujeres de Bogotá, en donde permanezco aun, 36 meses después, en calidad de SINDICADA a la espera de que se haga justicia en mi caso y en un claro abuso de la detención preventiva.

En el operativo de allanamiento participaron fuerzas policiales (DIJIN) fuertemente armados, quienes lograron Intimidar a mi anciana madre y a mis peque√Īos hijos. En el lugar se incautaron documentos de tenencia legal, incluso algunos de mi madre e hij@s, que figuran entre las pruebas en¬† mi contra.

Al frente del operativo de allanamiento y ‚Äúcaptura‚ÄĚ se encontraba el capit√°n de la DIJIN, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz, el mismo que particip√≥ en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix.¬† Este me dec√≠a con sorna entre muchas otras cosas que ‚Äďme har√≠a famosa, nacional e internacionalmente-, mientras otro de los polic√≠as filmaba todo a m√≠ alrededor,¬† incluso a mi familia y a m√≠ en todos los planos. Hubo un instante que me causo curiosidad, cuando el camar√≤grafago de la polic√≠a fue despachado con tono de urgencia del lugar. A los pocos minutos a√ļn sin que el allanamiento hubiera terminado, eran transmitidas las im√°genes del operativo en televisi√≥n, mientras los polic√≠as hac√≠an una pausa para ver el espect√°culo medi√°tico con el pecho henchido por el ‚Äúpositivo‚ÄĚ.

Con mi detenci√≥n se iniciaba el proceso de la FARC-POLIT√ĆCA. Un proceso pol√≠tico m√°s que jur√≠dico, que hoy parece languidecer dada la arbitrariedad e ilegalidad sobre la que fue construido.

El 11 de agoto de 2008, estando a√ļn aislada en los calabozos de la DIJIN, fui conducida al Bunker de la Fiscal√≠a para rendir indagatoria ante la fiscal 19 anti-terrorismo, Nancy Esperanza Pardo Bonilla. Hasta entonces me enterar√≠a de las razones por las que me encontraba vinculada al proceso de las FARC-POLITICA y de los cargos que se me imputaban.

Antes de regresar al Bunker de la Fiscal√≠a algun@s¬† periodistas trataron de obtener de m√≠ alguna declaraci√≥n. Qued√≥ grabada en mi memoria la primer pregunta que me hacia una periodista ‚Äú¬ŅEs cierto que usted era la amante de Ra√ļl Reyes?‚ÄĚ

la mir√© y le respond√≠¬† ‚ÄúEso no es verdad y con este tipo de calumnias mal intencionadas vulneran mi dignidad como mujer y como ser humano‚ÄĚ. En realidad no s√© que me ofend√≠a m√°s, si el ser sometida p√ļblicamente a una falsedad que dejaba una marca perenne¬† sobre mi honra, o el saber qu√© estaba siendo usada como carne de ca√Ī√≥n por quienes desde la `inteligencia militar` s√≥lo quer√≠an desdibujar la imagen del jefe insurgente.

Ya en la indagatoria la Fiscal me imputo los cargos de Rebeli√≥n y Administraci√≥n de Recursos con fines Terroristas, cargos soportados en la supuesta informaci√≥n obtenida en los dispositivos inform√°ticos del abatido jefe de las FARC, Ra√ļl Reyes.

Cargos que no acepte sometiéndome conscientemente a un proceso de juicio para demostrar mi inocencia. La Fiscal decidió entonces dictar medida de aseguramiento en mi contra en establecimiento carcelario. Fue la primera vez que se me negó el beneficio de la detención domiciliaria a pesar de haber demostrado plenamente mi condición de madre cabeza de familia.  

Luego se me negar√≠a dicho beneficio en 9¬† ocasiones m√°s por consider√°rseme un ‚Äúpeligro para la sociedad‚ÄĚ cosa que no ocurre con l@s delincuentes de cuello blanco a qui√©nes se les otorga sin ninguna traba este beneficio.

El 14 de agostos de 2008 fui entonces remitida a la reclusi√≥n de mujeres de Bogot√° ‚Äď ‚ÄúBuen Pastor‚ÄĚ al pabell√≥n 6, que es el pabell√≥n en el que se encuentran, por calificaci√≥n de internas la mayor parte de las mujeres¬† presas pol√≠ticas de la reclusi√≥n. Me convert√≠ entonces en la primera colombiana y la √ļnica mujer privada de su libertad por la denominada FARC-

POL√ĆTICA.

DE OTRAS ILEGALIDADES PROCESALES

Desde el mismo momento en que fui vinculada con pruebas ilegales ‚Äď al proceso judicial de la FARC-PO√ĆTICA se me someti√≥ a una exposici√≥n medi√°tica en donde se me atribuyeron desde tener ‚Äúlazos afectivos‚ÄĚ con el abatido jefe de las FARC, Ra√ļl Reyes, hasta de una serie de responsabilidades que nunca he tenido. Dicha situaci√≥n no s√≥lo afect√≥ mi honra y mi buen nombre sino que adem√°s ha desencadenado un sinn√ļmero de tratos degradantes, ofensas e incluso amenazas de muerte en mi contra con los consecuentes problemas de seguridad para m√≠ y mi familia.

En la reclusi√≥n l@s prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s debemos cargar con el estigma del `delito` que se nos endilga: REBELI√ďN y se nos hace un `perfil` de alta peligrosidad, pues seguimos siendo considerad@s el `enemigo interno`, s√≥lo que tras las rejas.

Estas circunstancias m√°s mi continuado compromiso con la defensa de los derechos humanos, ahora de mis compa√Īeras@s en prisi√≥n me ha valido el se√Īalamiento y la continuada persecuci√≥n¬† de parte del INPEC12.

Como resultado de dicho se√Īalamiento el pasado primero de junio de 2011 fui trasladada¬† dentro de la misma reclusi√≥n del pabell√≥n 6¬† al pabell√≥n 7, donde me encuentro aislada del resto de mis compa√Īeras prisioneras pol√≠ticas y sometida a mayores medidas de seguridad.

Adem√°s de haber sido vinculada a un proceso judicial con fundamento en pruebas ilegales, con la consecuente detenci√≥n arbitraria, el proceso en mi contra ha estado flagrado de irregularidades desde la etapa de instrucci√≥n hasta ahora:-fui imputada adem√°s del ‚Äúdelito‚ÄĚ de rebeli√≥n, que es un delito pol√≠tico y de la competencia de la justicia ordinaria, con el delito de administraci√≥n de recursos con fines terroristas, que es un delito no pol√≠tico y del resorte de la justicia especializada.

Ha sido una estrategia de l@s fiscales imputar a l@ opositores pol√≠tic@s delitos asociados al terrorismo, conjuntamente al ‚Äúdelito‚ÄĚ de rebeli√≥n, esto con el fin de agravar la situaci√≥n jur√≠dica con largas condenas , aumentar los tiempos requeridos para el desarrollo de los procesos y entrabar el accesos a beneficios jur√≠dicos para imputados y condenados.

Por cuenta de esta estrategia me ha sido negada repetidamente la detenci√≥n domiciliaria, se me someti√≥ a detenci√≥n preventiva que es ‚Äďuna medida extraordinaria-y se ha prolongado en el tiempo el desarrollo del proceso.

-despu√©s de que la fiscal 19 profiri√≥ la resoluci√≥n de acusaci√≥n en mi contra y quedo en firme, el 08 de abril de 2009 se inicio lo audiencia p√ļblica y la audiencia preparatoria antes del juicio bajo la competencia del Juzgado Noveno Penal del Circuito Especializado de Bogot√°. Durante la audiencia preparatoria solicitamos con mi defensa el acceso a la totalidad de la ‚Äúprueba reina‚ÄĚ, es decir, de los archivos obtenidos en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix, pero esta petici√≥n nos fue negada. Tanto Juez como fiscal solo nos permitieron conocer res√ļmenes de los archivos que se consideraban estaban directamente relacionadas conmigo. De esta forma se rompi√≥ la unidad procesal de tod@s lo vinculad@s al proceso de la FARC-POLITICA, para quienes ‚Äúla prueba reina‚ÄĚ son precisamente esos archivos obtenidos en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix.

As√≠, se nos impidi√≥ a l@s vinculad@s de dicho proceso la posibilidad de asumir colectivamente la defensa. A cada uno de nosotr@s se nos individualizo la investigaci√≥n y se nos permiti√≥ conocer solo fracciones de la ‚Äúprueba reina‚ÄĚ. De esta forma se afect√≥ seriamente la salvaguardia al debido proceso y a un juicio justo.

-por estar sometida a la justicia especializada, los tiempos del proceso en la fase de audiencia p√ļblica han sido largos y con interrupciones, a tal punto y cumplido 24 meses desde el inicio de la audiencia publica y 32 meses de mi ‚Äúdetenci√≥n preventiva‚ÄĚ, no se ha terminado esta etapa teniendo derecho a¬† mi libertad por vencimiento de t√©rminos.

El 11 de abril de 2011 solicitamos dicha libertad, pero el 13 de abril la Juez Novena Penal del Circuito Especializado la neg√≥ excus√°ndose en que la audiencia p√ļblica no se ha podido terminar por ‚Äúcausas justas y razonables‚ÄĚ, debido a que la defensa hab√≠a solicitado la pr√°ctica de pruebas en el exterior y que por lo tanto se me estar√≠a garantizando el debido proceso.

Ante tal absurdo jurídico, a través de la defensa interpusimos recursos de apelación y Habeas Corpus13 para pedir la libertad por vencimiento de términos, pero tanto el Tribunal Superior de Bogotá, que tuvo conocimiento de la apelación, como el juez de Habeas Corpus se negaron también a otorgarme la libertad inmediata.

-en mayo 18 de 2011, la Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala Penal, profiri√≥ auto inhibitorio14 en el caso del ex congresista vinculado al proceso de la llamada FARC-POLITICA. Con este auto la Corte sentenci√≥ que las evidencias f√≠sicas obtenidas en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix y que han sido usadas como prueba en el caso del ex congresista Wilson Borja es decir la FARC-POLITICA son ilegales y que en derecho no pueden ser usadas ni en el caso de Borja ni en ning√ļn otro proceso pues no tienen ninguna validez jur√≠dica.

El 1 de agosto de 2011, la Sala Penal de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, de forma unánime ratifico la sentencia proferida el 18 de mayo de 2011  en la que se declara ilegal la evidencia material obtenida en la Operación Fénix y la imposibilidad de que esta sea usada en cualquier proceso judicial como prueba.

Basados en ese fallo recuper√≥ la libertad el profesor Miguel √Āngel Beltr√°n en junio 3 de 2011. El profesor Beltr√°n tambi√©n hab√≠a sido vinculado por el proceso de la FARC-POLITICA y permaneci√≥ 2 a√Īos privado injustamente de la libertad. Tambi√©n se freno la extradici√≥n hacia Colombia del dirigente comunista Manuel Olate y se pudo esclarecer su situaci√≥n jur√≠dica en su pa√≠s.

-por su parte, mi defensor basado en el fallo de la Corte Suprema de Justicia solicitó en el mes de julio de 2011 el Control de Legalidad ante la jueza 9 Penal del Circuito Especializado, Danae Hinestroza Rengifo y la solicitud  de mi libertad por haber sido detenida arbitrariamente con fundamento en pruebas ilegales. La jueza de conocimiento una vez más rechazo la solicitud de la defensa.

-el 01 de agosto de 2011 recurrimos a la acci√≥n de Habeas Corpus al considerar que no solo fui privada de mi libertad arbitraria e ilegalmente sino porque existe una prolongaci√≥n ilegal de dicha detenci√≥n. Soportamos nuestra solicitud en la providencia de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala Penal, de mayo 18 de 2011 y su ratificaci√≥n del 1 de agosto de 2011 en la que se declara nula por carecer de validez jur√≠dica la ‚Äúprueba‚ÄĚ obtenida ilegalmente en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix que ha sido usada en mi contra.

Inexplicablemente el juez de Habeas Corpus, el juez 30 Laboral del Circuito de Bogot√°, Alfonso Mario Araujo Monroi quien niega por ‚Äúimprocedente‚ÄĚ nuestra petici√≥n fundado en espurios argumentos jur√≠dicos.

Es evidente que durante estos 36 meses mi ‚Äúdetenci√≥n preventiva‚ÄĚ en establecimiento carcelario ha vulnerado innumerables derechos: a la presunci√≥n de inocencia, al debido proceso, a la leg√≠tima defensa, a las garant√≠as procesales, y a mi libertad caus√°ndome da√Īos irreparables en lo material y en lo moral. Por tal motivo a trav√©s de mi defensa hemos solicitado Medidas Cautelares de protecci√≥n¬†¬† a la Comisi√≥n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

Lo cierto es que a tres a√Īos de la cuestionada Operaci√≥n F√©nix, el monstruo de la FARC-POLITICA languidece. Por fortuna ya muchas de las personas injustamente vinculadas¬† a este proceso han sido inhibidas o absueltas. Aun continuamos privados de nuestra libertad Joaqu√≠n P√©rez Becerra y yo.

Entre tanto mis d√≠as siguen transcurriendo en una celda de alta seguridad¬† aislada del resto de mis compa√Īeras prisioneras pol√≠ticas¬† pero con la dignidad, la moral y la frente en alto.

Seguiremos luchando por la libertad de tod@s l@s prisioner@s polític@s colombian@s.

Alg√ļn d√≠a ser√° posible y podr√© de nuevo en libertad continuar trabajando por una patria verdadera, democr√°tica, inclusi√≥n pol√≠tica, con justicia social y paz.

Estos 36 meses de injusto encarcelamiento han sido menos tortuosos gracias a la invaluable solidaridad y a las expresiones de cari√Īo de muchos y muchas compa√Īeros y de muchas otras personas, que aun sin conocerlos se han sensibilizado con mi caso y el de los m√°s de 7500 prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s colombian@s.

A tod@s ell@s, a las organizaciones sindicales, de derechos humanos, activistas por la paz y la justicia social, a los medios de comunicaci√≥n alternativos, a los partidos pol√≠ticos de oposici√≥n a los abogados dem√≥cratas, y a l@s parlamentarios que han confluido¬† desde distintas latitudes del globo, en la campa√Īa por la libertad de l@s y prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s colombin@s, mi gratitud y afecto.

Quiero agradecer especialmente a l@s compa√Īeros de la Red Internacional de Solidaridad Con los Prisioner@s politic@s colombian@s(INSPP, sigla en ingles); de la Campa√Īa de Solidaridad por los Prisioner@s Pol√≠tic@s en Canad√°, de Justicia por Colombia en el Reino Unido; de los circulos de Solidaridad por Colombia y de Paz y Justica por Colombia en Australia; de la Alianza por La Justicia Global en Estados Unidos; de la Campa√Īa de Solidaridad por l@s prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s colombian@s ‚ÄúCreando Puentes Solidarios‚ÄĚ, en Cuba; de la Agencia Bolivariana de Asuntos Humanitarios Patria es Solidaridad, en Venezuela; de la Campa√Īa por la Libertad de los Prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s colombian@s en Francia, de la campa√Īa por la Libertad de los prisioner@s pol√≠tic@s ‚ÄúTraspasa los Muros‚ÄĚ, de la Fundaci√≥n Lazos de Dignidad, de la Brigada Jur√≠dica Eduardo Uma√Īa Mendoza, del Comit√© Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Colombia.

A las y los abogados que han contribuido con mi defensa Eduardo Matyas Camargo, Gustavo Gallardo, Santiago Ortiz y July Henriquez.

A mi amigo y compa√Īero Ra√ļl Arango, siempre solidario con las prisioneras pol√≠ticas del Buen Pastor, a Niki, donde quiera que este.

A mi compa√Īero y amigo N√©stor Montilla que siempre me acompa√Ī√≥ mientras estuvo vivo y aun me acompa√Īa.

A mi peque√Īa pero incondicional y amorosa familia.

A todas y todos muchas gracias y un abrazo fraterno.

LILIANY OBANDO PRISIONERA POLITICA, SOBREVIVIENTE DEL GENOCIDIO CONTRA LA UNI√ďN PATRIOTICA. RECLUSI√ďN DE MUJERES DE BOGOTA BUEN PASTOR. AGOSTO 8 DE 2011.

NOTAS

1.       Prisionera política sobreviviente del genocidio contra la unión patriótica. Socióloga, defensora de derechos humanos, de las mujeres y laboral.

2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúEl gobierno de Ecuador‚Ķ sostiene que de acuerdo a los restos de las bombas encontradas en el campamento estas requieren para ser lanzadas una tecnolog√≠a avanzada que seg√ļn ellos no disponen la Fuerza A√©rea de Colombia‚ÄĚ. Informe de la comisi√≥n de la OEA que visito Ecuador y Colombia. Vig√©sima quinta reuni√≥n¬†¬† de consulta de ministros de relaciones exteriores, 17 de marzo de 2008, Washington pg. 7

3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Colombia es Estado parte de la Organizaci√≥n de Estados Americanos OEA, como tal aprob√≥ la Convenci√≥n Interamericana sobre asistencia mutua en materia penal, suscrita en¬† Nassau, Bahamas el 23 de mayo de 1992 y el protocolo facultativo relativo a la convenci√≥n interamericana sobre asistencia mutua en materia penal¬† adoptado en Managua,Nicaragua el 11 de junio de 1998. la Ley 636 de 2001. Colombia tambi√©n aprob√≥ el convenio de cooperaci√≥n judicial y de asistencia mutua en materia penal entre la rep√ļblica de Colombia y la rep√ļblica de Ecuador, suscrito en Santa Fe de Bogot√°, D.C, el 18 de diciembre de 1996. Ley 519 de 1999.

4.       Verónica Natalia Vázquez Ramírez, Fernando Franco Delgado, Soren Ulises Avilés, Juan Gonzales del Castillo, estudiantes de la universidad autónoma de México UNAM.

5.       Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina.

6.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Martha P√©rez y Diana Gonzales, guerrilleras de las FARC y Lucia Morett √Ālvarez, encontradas por militares ecuatorianos.

7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† El Estado ecuatoriano acuso al Estado colombiano por el homicidio ‚ÄúEjecuci√≥n extrajudicial‚Ä̬† de Franklin Aisalla ante la Comisi√≥n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Seg√ļn el estado ecuatoriano Aisalla fue asesinado a golpes de fusil que le destrozaron el cr√°neo.

8.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hoy cursa una investigaci√≥n en Ecuador contra altos mandos de las Fuerzas Armadas colombianas quienes participaron en la Operaci√≥n F√©nix, entre ellos el entonces¬† mayor de la polic√≠a Camilo¬† Ernesto Alvares Ochoa, comandante del Grupo de Objetivos de Alto Valor el Comando de Operaciones Especiales ‚ÄďCOPES-

9.       El entonces capitán de la DIJIN- Policía Nacional, Ronald Hayden Coy Ortiz quien fue custodio de las evidencias físicas obtenidas en la Operación Fénix declaró bajo juramento que dichos archivos no eran correos electrónicos sino documentos Word

10.   De acuerdo al informe de la INTERPOL sobre la validez de los procedimientos usados en el tratamiento de los dispositivos obtenidos en la Operación Fénix del 1 al 3 de marzo de 2008 se manipularon unos 48.000 archivos sin el lleno de los protocolos establecidos para tal fin.

11.   Un Estado que como el colombiano se autoproclama democrático y de Estado Social de Derecho debe garantizar la inclusión y participación de la oposición política.

12.   Instituto Penitenciario y carcelario.

13.   Derecho fundamental y acción constitucional, artículo 30 de la Constitución Nacional.

14.¬†¬† De acuerdo al art√≠culo 327 del c√≥digo de procedimiento penal ley 600 de 2000 ‚Äú‚Ķ se torna imperativo emitir decisi√≥n inhibitoria, cuando el comportamiento no ha existido, es at√≠pico, est√° acreditada un causal eximente de responsabilidad, o no es viable legalmente la acci√≥n penal‚Ä̂Ķ pagina 3. Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sala de Casaci√≥n Penal,¬† Bogot√°, D.C. mayo 18 de 2011