HomeNewsBriefUribe Accusations Reminder of Narco Money in Colombia Politics
BRIEF

Uribe Accusations Reminder of Narco Money in Colombia Politics

COLOMBIA / 13 FEB 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

The emergence of allegations made by an incarcerated drug baron that he funded the political activities of Colombia's former President Alvaro Uribe comes as a timely reminder of the country's vulnerability to drug money influence in the run-up to national elections.

Colombia's Supreme Court has requested that Congress and prosecutors evaluate testimony given by former Norte del Valle Cartel (NDVC) leader Diego Montoya, alias "Don Diego," in which he claimed to have funded Uribe's presidential campaign, reported Vanguardia.

Speaking to investigators from his Arizona prison last year, Don Diego provided a list of politicians he said had taken cartel money. Among them were several other prominent figures, including former President of the Senate Carlos Holguin Sardi and former Valle del Cauca Governor Juan Carlos Abadia.

Uribe, who is preparing to stand for a seat in the Senate in March elections, has responded by threatening legal action over the claims, reported Caracol.

InSight Crime Analysis

Don Diego's testimony adds to a litany of accusations made against Uribe over the years, among them that he received funding from the paramilitary umbrella organization the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) during his 2002 presidential campaign. So far, none of these allegations have resulted in the successful prosecution of the ex-president, and this is unlikely to change as a result of the latest claims.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Don Diego was the leader of the Machos faction of the NVDC. Following the demobilization of the AUC, the Machos emerged as one of the prototype paramilitary-drug trafficking hybrid organizations labeled by the government BACRIM (from the Spanish abbreviation for "criminal bands.")

In 2011, after being crippled by years of drug-fuelled wars and the loss of many of its leaders, the Machos sold off what remained of their territory and were absorbed by the most powerful criminal organization in Colombia -- the Urabeños. However, other BACRIM continue to seriously threaten the legitimacy of Colombian political institutions and the electoral process.

Although the BACRIM's reach is not as extensive as that of the now defunct AUC -- whose tentacles spread to all levels of national and local politics -- figures are still alarmingly high for electoral fraud or violent voter repression in areas where they operate (see Colombia Reports' maps above and below).

As well as having a history of funding political campaigns with dirty money and influencing voters with bribes or threats, the BACRIM are known to control politicians on a local level to gain protection, access to intelligence, and collaboration in illegal activities such as extortion and illegal enrichment.

electoral fraud risk - houseelectoral fraud risk - senate

 

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.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 20 JUL 2017

Asset forfeiture in Latin America can be a powerful tool against organized crime, but one fraught with legal and…

COLOMBIA / 27 JUN 2011

An armed group killed eight villagers and wounded four others in a weekend raid on a bar in the southern…

COLOMBIA / 11 SEP 2019

The highway between Bogotá and Medellín is one of Colombia's worst sites for child sex trafficking and exploitation, as criminal…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.