Colombia’s congress was supposed to debate the country’s development plan last week, but ended up hosting a shouting match over the alleged corruption practices of the family of former President Alvaro Uribe.
The debate, which was due to focus on corruption risks and possible irregularities in Colombia’s Land Management Plan spiraled out of control after Carlos Fernando Galan launched a stinging tirade against Uribe and his family.
Galan, the son of slain presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, challenged the former president about the controversial flipping of land property by his two sons that saw its value multiply by 90.
Uribe’s two sons Tomas and Jeronimo bought two plots of land in the Mosquera municipality in 2006 for the price of $12,000.
The brothers sold the land for $1 million after the administration of their father added the plot to a so-called free trade zone in 2007, according to newspaper El Espectador.
A visibly irate Uribe screamed across the chamber at Galan as the angry exchanges continued outside the microphones.
Uribe defended the actions of his sons claiming that the land deal did not violate any law and that he would not tolerate an attack on the characters of his children.
My children did not commit any attack against the law or against public morals. They are not tax evaders, nor did they do any manipulation there. I am not saying it as a senator but as a father, it has kept me awake so that my children are honorably treated.”
In response to Uribe’s defense of his sons, Galan referenced his late father retorting that “my father also taught me an important thing. He told me, politics is incompatible with business.”
In a further twist to the debacle, Carlos Fernando Galan and his brother, Liberal Party Senator Juan Manuel later stated that they hold the former president responsible for “the physical integrity and security of every member of the Galan family.”
They slammed what was described as a “campaign of defamation, insults and slander” on the part of Uribe who had suggested that the family was benefiting from state contracts through the “Escuela Galan” corporation, which was set up in honor of their late father.
“That corporation was created when he was president, he knows very well that it is a mixed corporation that is controlled by the State,” said Carlos Fernando Galan.
“We do not have the responsibility of having public entities that have the name of Luis Carlos Galan, as well as there are schools that carry his name “, concluded the Senator.
The heated argument forced president of the Senate Efrain Cepeda to adjorn proceedings to allow matters to settle with both senators highly aggravated.