Colombia’s former president loses round against online series revealing evidence of drug links

A Bogota judge rejected a claim by Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe that the popular online series revealing evidence of his ties to the Medellin Cartel is tarnishing his good name.

According to the defense attorneys of Daniel Mendoza, the maker of the series “Matarife,” the judge’s refusal to consider the slander claims were a victory for “the freedom of press, cinema and journalism.”

Uribe’s attorney, Abelardo de la Espriella, said he would appeal the decision.

“Morally doing away with Uribe”

Daniel Mendoza (screenshot: YouTube)

Mendoza has been in hiding for months after his announcement that Matarife would “morally do away with Uribe” resulted in death threats.

The series’ immense popularity surprised friends and foes of Uribe, who lost a similar lawsuit against senior journalist Gonzalo Guillen, who invented the former president’s nickname before.

Ironically, the lawsuit against Guillen inspired Mendoza to make the online series that is based on the journalist’s decades of investigation into the former president’s ties to organized crime.

Within weeks, the series made Matarife, which means “slaughterer,” the popular nickname for Uribe, despite media largely ignoring the series and pundits’ attempts to smear Mendoza.

Series harming legitimacy of Duque administration

The series’ compilation of evidence of Uribe’s ties to organized crime is not just damaging for the former president.

The former president’s Democratic Center party and the government of President Ivan Duque are up in arms as Matarife exposes how drug trafficking has corrupted government and Colombia’s elite for decades.

Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez also vowed to sue Mendoza after the series dedicated an episode to the alleged ties between Uribe’s former Defense Minister and former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso.

The claims added weight to calls for the resignation of Ramirez, whose husband is investigated for doing business with a former drug trafficker of the Medellin Cartel and who was forced to admit her brother is a convicted drug trafficker.

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