Colombia’s most influential weekly, Semana, on Thursday facilitated pundit Vicky Davila conspiring with convicted drug trafficker “El Tuso” to discredit the Supreme Court for the second time.
Davila, a member of the notorious Gnecco crime family, took part in a failed conspiracy to discredit the Supreme Court allegedly with the help of Juan Carlos Sierra, a.k.a. “El Tuso,” in 2007.
The pundit was heard over her role in the criminal conspiracy, but never investigated. The convicted narco said Thursday he was never heard about the conspiracy despite a 2013 court order to investigate him.
The journalist serving criminal interests
Davila’s interview with the convicted narco was almost the same as the one she did with “Tasmania,” a former paramilitary, who was bribed as part of a criminal conspiracy to smear the Supreme Court.
At the time, the court was investigating former Senator Mario Uribe, the cousin of former President Alvaro Uribe and El Tuso’s childhood friend.
This time, the Supreme Court is investigating the former president for bribing witnesses like Tasmania, who failed to hear the convicted narco who allegedly bribed the false witness in 2007.
To prevent criminal charges like the ones that sent Tasmania, Uribe’s former judicial secretary and a top intelligence official to prison, El Tuso was assisted by his lawyer, Manuel Retureta.
Exactly like Tasmania, the former narco had prepared himself for the interview with Davila and was reading claims from paper.
Discrediting the court without legal trouble
The pundit and El Tuso did their best to discredit the Supreme Court and imply Uribe was the victim of a conspiracy, but couldn’t get very far without committing a crime.
Semana called the convicted narco’s testimony “a fundamental piece” even though El Tuso said nothing new.
The narco confirmed that Senator Ivan Cepeda and former Senator Piedad Cordoba visited him in prison in 2009 and claimed they offered political asylum for his family if he would cooperate with justice.
Retureta said he was present at the meeting, but stressed that “it didn’t get to the point they said ‘we want you to say this so we give you something.”
When Davila asked El Tuso why the Supreme Court hadn’t heard him, the former narco said he told the prosecution he wasn’t available.
El Tuso added that he was afraid to testify, because “all who testified found themselves investigated” and he has been able to evade justice over the 2007 conspiracy so far.
Despite playing a key role in the smearing of Supreme Court magistrate Ivan Velasquez with the use of bribed witnesses, Davila was never investigated while even Uribe’s personal secretary went to prison.
El Tuso, who told the pundit he was never heard, also played a key role, according to Tasmania and Sergio Gonzalez, who got the former paramilitary involved in the conspiracy after Tasmania asked the narco to help him receive judicial benefits.
Gonzalez told the court he subsequently met with Uribe’s cousin and the former president’s brother Santiago.
After coordinating matters with Martha Leal, an executive of now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, the attorney told Tasmania he would be transferred, receive 400 million pesos and a house for his mother if he agreed to falsely accuse Supreme Court magistrate Ivan Velasquez of trying to bribe him.
Gonzalez said he wrote the letter in which the former paramilitary falsely accused the magistrate and sent it to the president’s office on September 11, 2007.
Tasmania was transferred three weeks later and gave money he had received from El Tuso to the former paramilitary’s mother.
Gonzalez and El Tuso prepared the demobilized paramilitary and gave him the written answers for the interview with Davila on radio station La FM on October 6.
The pundit told investigators she agreed “to do a rehearsal of his story before I started with the questions, that’s how it was done and that’s what you hear in the interview.”
Davila told the investigators initially she took the initiative to call Tasmania and that the contact who had given her the information was confidential.
Two days after the interview, Uribe demanded a criminal investigation into the false claims that had been invented by his administrative secretary Edmundo del Castillo and now-defunct intelligence agency DAS.