HomeNewsBrief'Uribe Knew Paramilitaries Financed his 2002 Campaign'
BRIEF

'Uribe Knew Paramilitaries Financed his 2002 Campaign'

AUC / 28 SEP 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

According to accusations by a paramilitary leader and former members of Congress, Alvaro Uribe knowingly received support from paramilitary group the AUC during his 2002 presidential campaign.

During testimony for Colombia’s Justice and Peace process, AUC leader Salvatore Mancuso said that he met personally with Uribe when Uribe was governor of Antioquia, but that he never met with Uribe during any political campaign. The AUC sent two politicians to speak with Uribe and serve as their intermediaries during the 2002 election season, Mancuso said. At the time, Uribe was aware that the AUC was supporting his campaign for president, Mancuso added.

Mancuso’s accusations were echoed in court testimony by one of the politicians who once served as the AUC’s emissary. Former Senator Miguel Alfonso de la Espriella said that he’d told Uribe in 2002 that the AUC were helping to financially support the presidential campaign. Uribe knew that he was meeting with Espriella as an emissary of the AUC but “always kept a prudent silence,” Espriella said. He also said that Uribe rejected meeting with Mancuso, as El Tiempo reports: “He said that if he met with Mancuso now, he wouldn’t become president later.”

Espriella was one of the first Colombian members of Congress to be sentenced for ties to the AUC in 2008.

InSight Crime Analysis

These are some of the most direct allegations yet that Uribe was aware that the AUC backed his campaign for presidency. Many of Uribe’s closest political allies -- including his cousin Mario -- have stood trial and been imprisoned for their ties to paramilitary groups. Mancuso has previously said in a radio interview that he met personally with Uribe, but refused to give any more details about it. 

Uribe has said that he will sue Espriella in court for the allegations. But along with the indictment of his former chief of security, who pleaded guilty in a US court in August for collaborating with the AUC, the statements by Espriella and Mancuso will cast a shadow on the ex-president’s record, and will likely raise further questions about whether Uribe could some day face a criminal investigation himself. 

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 / 22 JUN 2011

Colombia’s government said it will expel a foreign oil company from the country if reports are confirmed that…

COLOMBIA / 10 OCT 2011

Across Colombia, unlicensed mines provide an extra source of funds for drug trafficking organizations like the FARC. But it's not…

COLOMBIA / 26 OCT 2016

Colombia's Attorney General has announced what appears to be the first ever seizure of mining-related FARC assets, potentially stirring up…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…