A WikiLeaks cable released Sunday reveals how rumors began to circulate in 2008 about paramilitary involvement in the 2005 election of Colombia’s prosecutor general.
In March 2010, former AUC leader Carlos Mario Jiminez, alias “Macaco,” was alleged by another ex-AUC member to have paid $2.62 million in order to secure the election of Mario Iguaran as prosecutor general.
At the time these accusations were the first of their kind and stood alone. However, it appears from a cable sent on April 23, 2008, that rumors were already circulating two years previously that Iguaran’s election had been bought.
According to the then U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield, the rumors stated that Macaco had bribed Supreme Court magistrates to elect Iguaran who eventually won the election with the vote of 17 judges out of 25.
No motive for why the AUC would have selected Iguaran is suggested in the cable. However, newspaper El Espectador has stated that AUC leaders chose him not only because he had been in charge of the Justice and Peace Law (JPL), which oversees the paramilitary demobilization, in his previous position as deputy interior and justice minister, but also because they deemed him “manageable,” with regard to the “parapolitics” scandal.
In addition, members of Congress at the time were considering an investigation into ties between Supreme Court magistrates and an Italian drug trafficker, Giorgio Sale, who was linked to ex-AUC leader Salvatore Manusco.
The cable relates how these revelations were beginning to complicate matters at a time when relations between the government and the Supreme Court were becoming increasingly strained due to the government’s belief that the court was carrying out a “vendetta” against it by offering “benefits” to former paramilitaries in exchange for damning evidence against Uribe himself.
Uribe’s wariness over the damning nature of the parapolitics scandal was previously stated in a separate cable from 2006.
Mario Iguaran finished his term as prosecutor general in 2009 and currently serves as the ambassador to Egypt.
Earlier this week, Mario Uribe, whose detention by the prosecutor general was relayed in the same cable as being a source of tension between the court and the government, was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail for his ties with the paramilitaries whilst serving in Congress.