HomeNewsBriefEx-Colombian President's Security Chief Accused of Drug Ties
BRIEF

Ex-Colombian President's Security Chief Accused of Drug Ties

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012 BY TRACEY KNOTT EN

US prosecutors have charged retired Colombian police General Mauricio Santoyo with drug trafficking with alleged ties to cartels and paramilitary groups, highlighting the depth of corruption in the country's national police.

On June 15, prosecutors from Virginia’s State District Court accused retired police General Mauricio Santoyo, along with other former police officials, of collaborating with drug traffickers and paramilitaries. Santoyo was the chief of security for then-President Alvaro Uribe from 2002 to 2006.

Virginia district state prosecutor Neil MacBride alleges that Santoyo obtained intelligence through illegal wiretaps, and passed it on to the Oficina de Envigado crime syndicate to be used to assassinate competitors. The charges also allege that Santoyo accepted bribes from paramilitary organization the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) to facilitate drug shipments to the United States.

InSight Crime Analysis

The charges follow allegations of police corruption made by Colombian criminals extradited to the US, including drug trafficker Hernando Bustamante and AUC paramilitary leaders Salvatore Mancuso and Carlos Mario Jimenez, alias "Macaco."

Bustamante, extradited in 2007, has insisted that top police officials, including Santoyo, accepted bribes from the Norte del Valle Cartel. Considering that Bustamante has been in the US for the last five years, his allegation concerning Santoyo could cover the period the general worked under Uribe and could extend into the time he was commander of the anti-kidnapping task force in Medellin (1996-1999).

Since 2010 Mancuso and Jimenez have both admitted to bribing unnamed top officials in the national police. This indicates the widespread influence of AUC among top police officials, giving weight to the Virginia District Court’s charges against Santoyo.

The allegations demonstrate the extent of corruption in the police force, but also suggest another indirect link between Uribe and the drug trade. Uribe has already been connected to drug traffickers through his niece, Ana Maria Uribe Cifuentes, who was arrested with her mother in 2011 for allegedly helping Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel traffic cocaine and launder their profits. Uribe has done his best to separate himself from the case, but charges against his former security chief will further damage the former president’s reputation.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 14 JUL 2021

Recently published data has shown that deforestation in Colombia soared last year, as a number of illegal activities drove forest…

COLOMBIA / 5 DEC 2014

Police in Spain have dismantled a multinational drug trafficking network led by Colombians that is the latest example of how…

COLOMBIA / 12 JAN 2012

With over eight million hectares in Colombia already licensed for mining projects, the municipality of Anori may indicate what lies…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…