Restrepo calls on Uribe-loyalists to oppose Santos

Colombia’s former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, who fled the country before being charged over his alleged role in the faking of the demobilization of a non-existent FARC front, called on supporters of former President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday to oppose the government of Juan Manuel Santos and “retake the course.”

In a statement published on the Twitter account of Uribe ally and former presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria, the disgraced peace commissioner said that loyalists to Uribe must “admit that ‘Uribism’ was wrong electing Santos.”

Restrepo made no reference to his trial in the statement, but called on followers of the former president to prevent a possible reelection of Santos in 2014.

“In 2010 we won the elections, but we lost the government. Begin a campaign immediately against the reelection of Santos under the motto: ‘No to the reelection of the lie,” the former peace commissioner said.

Restrepo continued, “We are seeking to retake the government aspiring to a period of eight years, including a presidential reelection,” then calling for the creation of a National Constituent Assembly to which coalition congressmen publicly must pledge their allegiance to.

“The Constituency must order, among others, a reform of justice to give legal guarantees to members of the armed forces and make an end to the pensions carrousel and the corruption in the tribunals and courts.”

Restrepo’s letter came days after he was charged with fraud and the illegal trafficking of weapons over the staged demobilization of some 60 FARC fighters. The former peace commissioner, the government’s representative at the demobilization and one of the alleged masterminds of the fraud, fled Colombia last month and is currently at an unknown location.

Uribe, whose political power has reduced drastically after Santos took over the presidency in 2010, has defended Restrepo’s choice to avoid Colombian justice, claiming that a political persecution of his government by that of his successor and the prosecutor general.

Several of the former president’s closest aides are in jail. Dozens of his former coalition congressmen, including Uribe’s cousin, were convicted for using the intimidation of paramilitary death squads to be elected into Congress. The former agriculture minister is in jail awaiting trial on embezzlement charges, one of Uribe’s former intelligence chiefs was convicted for his involvement in the murder of labor unionists, a second spy chief fled the country while facing charges for illegally wiretapping Uribe opponents and members of the Supreme Court, while his former chief in staff is in jail awaiting charges over his alleged role in the same wiretap scandal.

Uribe himself is also being investigated, but by a congressional committee that is in charge of the looking into into the ex-leader’s alleged ordering of the wiretaps.

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