El Guantánamo permanente de Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURGO – La semana pasada, la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos dictaminó que los detenidos en Bahía de Guantánamo tienen derecho a un habeas corpus -el derecho a recusar la base fáctica y legal de su detención en una corte de justicia-. La decisión me regocijó, después de cuatro años de haber trabajado para asegurar el régimen de derecho en la política de detención e interrogatorio de Estados Unidos, incluida la supervisión de los juicios de comisiones militares en Bahía de Guantánamo. Pero mi felicidad se ve opacada donde estoy, cerca de la frontera con Zimbabwe -un país donde el mandato judicial de habeas corpus y el régimen de derecho se han vuelto obsoletos.

El habeas corpus, término que en latín corresponde a "que tengas tu cuerpo", es un antiguo principio del derecho común inglés incorporado a la Constitución de Estados Unidos para asegurar la libertad frente a una detención ilegal por parte del Estado. Fue y sigue siendo un control fundamental frente a la encarcelación de individuos sin omisión por parte de las cortes independientes. En Zimbabwe, este derecho -como tantos otros equilibrios de poderes- ha sido socavado por un Estado represivo.

Apenas horas antes del dictamen de la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, Tendai Biti, secretario general del opositor Movimiento para el Cambio Democrático (MCD), fue arrestado tras su regreso a Zimbabwe. A pesar de los intentos inmediatos por parte de sus abogados para ubicarlo, durante días se siguió desconociendo su paradero. La policía descartó una orden judicial inicial que exigía que se llevara a Biti ante la corte.

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