A second witness to a Colombian ex-governor’s alleged ties to paramilitary groups on Monday revoked his testimony condemning the politician.
Jesus Guerrero, an ex-member of the AUC paramilitary group, retracted his damning statements about ex-governor Hugo Aguilar’s alleged involvement with the paramilitaries while in office, a practice known as “parapolitics” in Colombia.
Guerrero is the second person to retract statements about Aguilar’s secret alliance with the paramilitaries while Governor of the northern department of Santander. Luis Fernando Morales, another ex-AUC member, also changed his statements earlier this month.
Like Morales, Guerrero is now claiming he witnessed nothing of Aguilar’s paramilitary ties, in this case meetings between Aguilar and paramilitary in mid-2003 in the Santander town of Santa Helena.
Contrary to his original testimony, Guerrero says that although he saw the ex-governor meeting with people on a specific date, he did not know what was going on. “I don’t know if they were paramilitaries or civilians. I don’t know because I was not interested in the meeting,” said Guerrero.
According to newspaper Semana, Guerrero stood by his testimony that AUC members had arrived in Santa Helena during Aguilar’s governor election in 2003 in order to intimidate people into voting for Aguilar.
For his part, Aguilar has claimed that the allegations hold no truth and the charges were simply hatched from political enemies.