Juan Manuel Santos (Photo: President's Office)

President Juan Manuel Santos announced Tuesday that the country is in desperate need of justice reform saying that “we cannot allow for the deterioration of justice to continue.”

“There has to be justice reform…the country finds itself again with a scandal with a Supreme Court Judge that happened a few days ago,” said President Santos Tuesday afternoon in reference to a judge being investigated for accepting bribes.

“We have had this idea on the failed justice reforms, and I believe that this is one of the themes that we are going to discuss with the presidents of the courts,” he added.

The announcement comes after the discovery that there is a group of judges allegedly called the ‘Judges Cartel’ that is dedicated to tamper with judicial processes in exchange for a sum of money.

Furthermore, Supreme Court of the Judiciary Judge, Henry Villarraga, was earlier this week supposedly caught on tape accepting bribes from an accused military official to arrange for his trial to be transferred to a military court, where the official could expect leniency.

MORE: Colombia High Court Judge allegedly caught on tape aiding ‘false positives’ suspect

 The government has been embroiled in debates over justice reform recently especially concerning the military penal system.  The government had proposed a bill this past summer which would overhaul the military justice system to allow for more autonomy to be given to military courts.  The Constitutional Court knocked down the bill last week, prompting the Defense Minister and the government to propose new legislation on the subject.

MOREColombia’s Constitutional Court knocks down controversial military justice reform law

MOREColombia’s Defense Minister regroups for military justice reform fight

 The Minister of Justice, who operates out of the Executive Branch, intends to meet this week with the judges of Colombia’s four high courts to “analyze clearly what is going on…and to take corrective action.”


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