On October 2, 2023, in Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia, President Gustavo Petro participated in an event where Admiral Jose Prudencio Padilla was posthumously promoted to Grand Admiral of the Nation by the Colombian government. This event was significant for the country’s political landscape.
President Petro made a statement on Tuesday, expressing his intention to go to the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office to defend his honor and the good name of his government. He addressed the accusations of drug trafficking made against him by former President Andrés Pastrana at the end of the previous year. Petro emphasized the importance of upholding the country’s institutions and seeking justice.
As a democrat, Petro stressed the need to respect differences and not respond to verbal aggression. He filed a complaint against former President Pastrana, urging leaders to set an example and not abuse their positions to make baseless accusations.
Petro also highlighted the significance of the Prosecutor’s Office as an institution that investigates and manages social conflicts with values superior to those who attempt to take political advantage of justice. He announced that any compensation received from the complaint would be directed to a foundation with a social purpose.
Former President Pastrana, on the other hand, reaffirmed his accusations against Petro and stated his intention to present evidence to support his claims. He criticized Petro for filing a complaint against him for exercising his freedom of expression and opposition.
Pastrana emphasized the importance of freedom of thought and opinion, expressing his concern about the potential criminalization of opposition. He vowed to confront Petro at the Prosecutor’s Office to defend the right to express opinions and oppose the government.
In late 2023, former President Pastrana used social media to directly accuse Petro of collaborating with drug trafficking and merging the government with organized crime. These accusations sparked a public dispute between the two political figures, leading to legal action and a heated debate about freedom of expression and opposition in Colombia’s political landscape.
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