Colombia has asked the U.S. to share future testimonies made by former President Alvaro Uribe‘s then-security chief, who plead guilty to aiding paramilitary organization AUC, in order to investigate whether other government officials should be prosecuted, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office told the radio station it will ask the Eastern Dictrict Court of Virgina, where retired General Mauricio Santoyo admitted to supporting the AUC while working as Uribe’s top security aide, for copies of Santoyo’s testimonies.
If U.S. authorities cooperate, Colombian prosecutors plan to file criminal charges against the disgraced Uribe-aide who so far has not been charged by any Colombian judicial authority.
Additionally, the Prosecutor General’s Office hopes to find out which officials helped Santoyo leaking confidential information to the AUC.
According to the guilty plea of Santoyo obtained by Colombian newspaper El Pais, the former general admitted to thwarting anti-trafficking efforts by the U.S. and Colombia in exchange for bribes between 2001 and 2008.
The former official also confessed that his assistance included tipping off AUC members to upcoming law enforcement arrest operations, divulging information about ongoing wiretaps, informing members of investigations by Colombian, British and U.S. law enforcement, and conducting unauthorized wiretaps of rivals.
Experts said Tuesday Santoyo’s plea agreement to have “profound impact” on Colombian politics and the country’s military. The former Uribe aide will receive a reduced sentence for pleading guilty and cooperating with U.S. justice investigating drug trafficking from Colombia.
According to Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, some 11,000 Colombian politicians, officials and businessmen are implicated in “parapolitics,” the collaborating with the AUC, held responsible for tens of thousands of human rights violations including homicide, rape and forced displacement.