The official of the Judicial Branch was suspended from her duties for three months. She claims to have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety syndrome
< i class="i-share-btn linkedin">
The scandal of Vivian Polanía, the Colombian judge who smoked half-naked during a virtual hearing, reached the US media (Instagram)
In the last week, the case of Colombian judge Vivian Polanía went viral after being caught smoking half-naked during a virtual hearing. The controversy reached US newspapers that recorded the decision of the Judicial Disciplinary Commission to suspend the official upon determining that she committed disciplinary failures with her actions.
The North American media that have detailed the controversy in the last two days are New York Post, Daily Mail and Daily Best; however, the events occurred on November 16, when Polanía was evaluating whether or not to release Joaquín Medina Duarte, accused of having planted a car bomb at a military facility.
Although before the 20 seconds of the video that went viral, the judge of the city of Cúcuta had not turned on the camera, she had had irregular attitudes during the proceedings. According to the newspaper El País —which also reported the case—, on one occasion, the defense lawyer intervened for a couple of minutes until Vivian Polanía interrupted him and for a while For a minute and a half, everyone was silent.
Following that, the judgedecided to deny the defendant his freedom, for which the defense lawyer filed an appeal and asked for a justification. For seven minutes there were very confusing interventions by the togada and then activated the camera in which he had “a deplorable image of himself: with sleepy eyes, disheveled hair, lying on a bed and half-naked”, reads the the 16-page ruling that suspended Polanía.
The woman had not noticed the camera on until the prosecutor in the case told her: “Madam Judge, you have the camera on”. The official expressed his annoyance at how the judicial process was being carried out, so on November 17 he wrote an email to the Superior Court of Cúcuta denouncing the situation and the video ended up leaking on social networks.
Vivian Polanía, judge of the Republic, generates controversy for leading the audience in bed, with a cigarette and half naked. Photo: capture.
The decision of the Judicial Disciplinary Commission
Although the appeal was initially presented to the Superior Court of Cúcuta, the controversy transcended to such an extent that the Judicial Disciplinary Commission began an investigation against the criminal judge for control of guarantees. On November 22, the entity determined that Vivian Polanía should be suspended for “a term of 3 months”.
In the ruling, the Plenary Chamber indicated that the judge's condition was not adequate: “Such a factual situation is not consistent with the care, respect and circumspection with which a judge of the Republic must administer justice.” For the Commission, there was a lack of respect on the part of the official “both for her own public investiture and respect for the people who intervened in the hearing.”
On the other hand, in the document questions the reason for the togada did not delve into the defendant's defense arguments. “The origin of the release of a person prosecuted for a notorious public fact was discussed, such as the recent attack with explosives inside the facilities of a military brigade in Cúcuta,” the Chamber pointed out and asked how the judge prepared “the presentation of a hearing of similar characteristics.”
The Judicial Disciplinary Commission recalled that in February 2021 the Superior Court of the Judicial District of Cúcuta issued circular 002, in which it recommended keep the cameras on at court proceedings. “Was the official in the noted circumstances, so, from the beginning of the hearing, until she, apparently, involuntarily activated her camera?” In that sense, it would have spent an hour in those conditions.
“Do you usually conduct your hearings in similar circumstances?”, added the entity in the ruling.
Vivian Polanía's position and her history of depression
This is not the first time that the judge has generated controversy. A little over two years ago, she was criticized for the photographs that she posted on her social networks and for which she has been classified as the “sexy judge” of Colombia. In the images she has shown the tattoos that she has of her and the results of her physical activity routine; however, in an interview with the magazine Semana she pointed out that she has suffered “persecution for many years.”
“What I need is to administer justice, not to see myself as they want, they don't know how difficult it is to be in those long dresses in hearings of more than four hours,” Polanía declared before the media. She also denounced that magistrates of the Cúcuta and Arauca Sectional Council of the Judiciary review their social networks. “I am the most persecuted ,” the official explained. As if I were from a criminal organization.”
Regarding the facts for which she was suspended, the judge revealed before Blu Radio that she suffers from depression. “She tells me that she has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety syndrome ,” said journalist Néstor Morales, who interviewed her while she was crying. “She assures that she has been locked up in her home for three years, because she has been the victim of death threats,” he added.
A day later a diagnostic document was released —dated November 18 — which would confirm what the official said: “Patient who presents viable changes in the effect, crying easily, with several disciplinarians due to his situation, has had a sleep disorder (insomnia), starts smoking, anxiety attack, which produced events that interfere in a hearing.”