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Entrevista exclusiva con el juez español Baltasar Garzón (Parte 1 de 2)

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This is Democracy Now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. I'm Amy Goodman with Juan González We’re joined now by the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, perhaps one of the world’s most famous judges. Citing the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, Garzón has used the Spanish courts to investigate cases of torture, war crimes and other offenses around the world. In 1998, he ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, a move that had led to Pinochet’s arrest and detention in Britain for 18 months. In 2003, Garzón indicted Osama bin Laden and dozens of other members of al-Qaeda. The indictment led to Europe’s biggest trial of alleged al-Qaeda operatives. Eighteen were eventually found guilty. Garzón also led the case against Argentine ex-naval officer Adolfo Scilingo for crimes committed during Argentina’s Dirty War. Scilingo is now serving a 640-year sentence. Garzón attempted to indict six high-ranking members of the Bush administration, including former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, for their role in authorizing torture at Guantánamo and overseas. The case was eventually dropped. We now know, thanks to WikiLeaks, that the Bush administration privately pressured the Spanish government to drop the prosecution. While Judge Garzón has long been one of the world’s most feared judges, he is now facing his own legal battle. Thirteen months ago, he was indicted for exceeding his authority for launching an investigation into the disappearance of more than 100,000 Spanish civilians at the hands of supporters of General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Garzón was suspended as a judge in May 2010 and is facing three separate trials. The attack on Garzón has been widely criticized by human rights defenders. Lotte Leicht of Human Rights Watch said, quote, "Garzón sought justice for victims of human rights abuses abroad and now he’s being punished for trying to do the same at home. The decision leaves Spain and Europe open to the charge of double standard." Judge Baltasar Garzón is here in New York this week to receive the first Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives/Puffin Foundation Award for Human Rights Activism. He flew in from Spain last night, joins us in the studio today. Welcome to Democracy Now! Buenos días. Gracias. And thank you to Tony Geist for translating. Judge Garzón, let’s start with the latest news: the assassination of Osama bin Laden. You have condemned this. Why? Cualquier persona que dirige una organización terrorista como es al-Qaeda es objetivo de la justicia. En un estado de derecho la acción de la justicia debe ser prioritaria y cuando puede propiciarse esa acción, debe primar, en todo caso. Consecuentemente, por las noticias que tenemos, la detención de Bin Laden podía haber sido una realidad y que él mismo rindiera cuentas ante la justicia norteamericana o de cualquier otro país. Yet he was assassinated. Talk about the example you believe this sets. Resulta evidente que la acción de eliminación de Bin Laden es una acción que es un asesinato. Lo que ocurre es que de acuerdo con la legislación internacional, pues hay discrepancias en torno a si es legal o no legal, por la situación del conflicto norteamericano en la guerra contra el terror. Desde el punto de vista internacional no es la solución correcta. I wanted to ask you about the case, particular case, that you have been now indicted for, specifically overreaching your authority, supposedly, in terms of the investigation into the civilian deaths under the Franco regime. You prosecuted similar cases, where amnesties had been declared, in Argentina and Chile, and your government had no problem with that. But now, when you challenge the amnesty that was supposedly granted to the perpetrators of the Franco atrocities, suddenly the government has problems with your methods? Sí. Esa es la contradicción y la paradoja en una situación en la que España ha sido pionera en la Jurisdicción Universal. Y cuando se trata de analizar y de investigar los hechos propios se niega a hacerlo y se procesa al juez. Yo creo que es una obligación de todo juez investigar esos hechos y dar protección a las víctimas, verdad, justicia y reparación. And in terms of the particular powers of a judge in Spain that may differ from what we here in the United States understand as a judge’s power, that the judges in Spain have both a sort of prosecutorial as well as a judgment aspect to their responsibilities, could you explain that? Sí. Los jueces en España, los jueces de instrucción, son una mezcla del "prosecutor" norteamericano y del juez español. I wanted to ask you about the WikiLeaks revelations. In Spain, there’s a lot of attention, of the documents, the U.S. government cables that have come out, about U.S. interference with the judiciary in Spain. One of the WikiLeaks cables was signed by Edward Aguirre, who is the—President Bush’s ambassador to Spain, who met with you. And he was concerned about a number of issues, and the U.S. has been concerned about the case in which —you opened against six former Bush administration officials, including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, for torture at Guantánamo. Explain this case and why it has now been dropped. En España se abrieron dos procedimientos sobre Guantánamo. Uno general, respecto de esas seis personas y otro particular por cuatro casos de tortura. El primero correspondió a un juzgado y el segundo a otro. El de cuatro casos de tortura es el que ha avanzado, es el que yo adelantaba y está planteado con carácter general por las torturas, aunque sin identificación de personas autoras. Por aplicación del principio de jurisdicción universal hemos solicitado a Estados Unidos que nos digan si están investigando esos hechos y en caso de que no contesten, España los investigará. Aparentemente son crímenes de tortura, crímenes contra la humanidad y por tanto hay obligación de investigarlos y que no queden impunes. The ambassador in the document, in the WikiLeaks cable, said you have an anti-American streak. Your response? No, you know, no, I don’t. Enemy against the United States, no. I think that is the justice, only justice, as the torture is a universal crime, is necessary to investigate. Only this. I’d like to ask you about—to go back to the case of the Franco era. The New York Times, in an editorial in support of you, said recently, "The real crime[s] in this case are the disappearances, not Mr. Garzón’s investigation. If, as seems likely, these were crimes against humanity under international law, Spain’s 1977 amnesty could not legally absolve them." Interestingly, the charges were brought against you initially by right-wing, pro-Franco groups in the country. So, in essence, some claim that the only one to be prosecuted for the crimes of the Franco era are the judge that has tried to investigate the cases. Could you—for Americans who are not familiar with what happened during the Franco era, could you talk a little bit about that? Esa es la contradicción y la paradoja: que no se quieran investigar los crímenes del franquismo y sí a quien los investiga. Entre 150 mil y 200 mil personas desaparecieron, como población civil. Esas desapariciones todavía siguen sin determinar dónde está el paradero de las víctimas. Es un delito permanente y por lo tanto no puede estar amparado por ninguna amnistía. Judge Baltasar Garzón, you have called for the exhumation of 19 unmarked graves, among them the one believed to contain the remains of the great poet, Federico García Lorca. Why? Se solicitó la exhumación de la tumba porque los familiares de los demás, personas que estaban supuestamente en el mismo lugar, así lo solicitaron. Y se le pidió al juez del lugar para que lo hiciera. And what do you hope to find? Al día de hoy la situación está paralizada porque el juez de Granada planteó el conflicto de jurisdicción conmigo y el Tribunal Supremo ha suspendido también esa decisión. El Tribunal Supremo ha suspendido esa decisión.Eso es bastante grave. So, we’re going to go to break, but when we come back, we want to talk to Judge Baltasar Garzón about what this means that he now has been indicted, he has been suspended, he can’t practice law right now in Spain, what it means for all of these cases. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 4 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Democracy Now!
Views: 181
Posted by: democracynowes on May 13, 2011

Usando como fundamento la doctrina de jurisdicción universal, el juez español Baltasar Garzón ha conducido investigaciones en los tribunales españoles de casos de tortura, crímenes de guerra y otros delitos cometidos en todo el mundo. Mientras que Garzón ha sido uno de los jueces más temidos del mundo, actualmente se enfrenta a su propia batalla legal. El año pasado fue acusado de excederse en su autoridad al poner en marcha una investigación sobre la desaparición de más de 100.000 civiles a manos de partidarios del general Francisco Franco durante la Guerra Civil española. Garzón fue suspendido de su cargo de juez en mayo de 2010 y se enfrenta a tres juicios separados.

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