HomeNewsBriefInvestigation into Uribe's 'Paramilitary Ties' Reopened
BRIEF

Investigation into Uribe's 'Paramilitary Ties' Reopened

AUC / 9 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is facing renewed investigations into his alleged criminal ties following fresh accusations over his involvement with paramilitary groups during his time as governor of Antioquia.

The decision to reopen the preliminary investigation into Uribe came after new testimonies from former paramilitaries were submitted to prosecutors by Congressman Ivan Cepeda.

The testimonies come from two former members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), the umbrella organization of the illegal right-wing paramilitaries that demobilized during Uribe's presidency: Pablo Hernan Sierra, alias "Alberto Guerrero," and Juan Guillermo Monsalve.

Sierra accused Uribe and his brother Santiago of playing a key role in establishing the AUC’s Bloque Metro, which went on to terrorize the city of Medellin and parts of the Antioquia province, reported El Colombiano.

In the second testimony, Monsalve, who claimed to have worked on one of Uribe's properties, alleged that Uribe supported the AUC, and also ordered a massacre in the municipality of San Roque, according to Cepeda.

Uribe’s lawyer, Jaime Granados, was quick to denounce the decision to reopen the investigations, issuing a press release in which he dismissed the testimonies as “stories full of assumptions, inaccuracies and lies.”

Speaking to Bloomberg, Granados said the testimonies were not credible since they came from imprisoned former paramilitaries looking for reductions in their sentences who had been manipulated by Cepeda – a long time antagonist of Uribe whose father was assassinated in 1994, with the help of the AUC.

The accusations will now be assessed by prosecutors, who will forward the testimonies to a Congressional committee if they consider them viable.   

InSight Crime Analysis

Since leaving the presidency, Uribe has beaten back numerous attempts to link him to paramilitary groups, even as some of his closest allies have been convicted of collusion with paramilitary and criminal organizations, and abuses of power.

Uribe has consistently maintained that the accusations, which come principally from former paramilitaries, are motivated by a political agenda and a desire for vengeance by former AUC commanders who believe Uribe reneged on a promise not to extradite them to the US if they demobilized.

However, his ability to avoid prosecution has also undoubtedly been aided by his continued political influence and popularity, something which he may no longer be able to count on.

Over the last two years, Uribe has emerged as the de facto leader of the main political opposition to his former ally, current President Juan Manuel Santos, who he accuses of abandoning his hard line security policies. With the next presidential elections now just over a year away, Santos, who will go for a second term, would benefit greatly if one of his fiercest and most prominent critics were to be discredited, perhaps leaving Uribe more vulnerable than in the past.

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

COLOMBIA / 9 MAY 2022

A recent wave of murders in the Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas provides clues to the role of dissident factions of…

COCAINE / 23 FEB 2022

Once a guerrilla stronghold, the southern Colombia coca-growing department of Putumayo is experiencing a new outbreak of violence among warring…

COLOMBIA / 23 JUL 2021

Once belonging to the demobilized FARC, certain criminal groups seek to reconquer surrendered assets, driving a wave of violence in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…