Colombia’s ruling party is organizing protests in support of former President Alvaro Uribe on the day he is due in court to defend himself against fraud and bribery charges.
The marches are planned for Colombia’s main cities Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena while supporters of Uribe in London, Madrid, Miami, New York and Quito were also expected to take part.
Many have taken to social media to voice support or opposition to Uribe with the hashtag #ALaCallePorUribe becoming popular as followers of the controversial former president crank up their opposition to the Supreme Court trial.
— Alejandro Corrales (@AlejoCorralesCD) September 25, 2019
“It is time to support our president Uribe in the face of so many infamies,” said Senator Paloma Valencia of Uribe’s far-right Democratic Center Party.
“Former president Uribe is a sensible, transparent and honest man, who has always acted under the Constitution and the law. That is why I invite Colombians to express our support and backing on October 8 at 11AM.,” urged fellow-senator Maria del Rosario Guerra.
The former president’s ongoing trial is for his alleged tampering of witnesses who have testified he founded a paramilitary death squad in the 1990s.
Other pending cases include his alleged involvement in two massacres and the assassinations of human rights defenders.
Some supporters claimed the trial is part of a campaign of political persecution by opposition “communists” rather than the prosecution of alleged crimes by the Supreme Court.
We good Colombians have a responsibility next October 8: to prevent the communists from achieving what they have always sought, to make prisoner, disable, erase Alvaro Uribe Velez from history. The assembly made by the communists is clear, there are witnesses manipulated from prisons, criminals able to sell themselves to testify against Uribe.
Mario Holguin via Las 2 Orillas
The mounting evidence of Uribe’s alleged involvement in witness tampering is also complicating the situation of President Ivan Duque, who has consistently defended his political patron.
Other investigations against Uribe include the former president’s alleged ties to paramilitary organization AUC, his alleged involvement in two massacres and the assassinations of human rights defenders.