In August 2011, a USB pendrive surfaced, containing evidence of a correspondence between El Espectador columnist Ernesto Yamhure and notorious paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño.
In the media storm that followed, Yamhure resigned from his newspaper and subsequently left Colombia, failing to appear in court for questioning on his alleged ties to the disappeared Castaño.
The USB pendrive showed evidence of a correspondence, including apparently, instances of requested modification of his writing by the paramilitary commander before going to print in his nationally syndicated newspaper column.
Yamhure has resurfaced in the United States as he claims the investigation against him was dropped by Colombia’s Prosecutor general’s Office. He claims he left Colombia amid threats against his life, and that ongoing security concerns preclude him from reentry to Colombia.
“I return to the debate but from exile,” said Yamhure. “My security is not guaranteed by the current [Colombia] government, which has done nothing to stop nor investigate the threats made against me.”
According Caracol Radio, the embattled columnist said he will support Uribe’s Centro Democratico in the upcoming election. “I am working so that the Centro Democraticos win the coming election and so that Colombia regains the direction we have lost during the terrible presidency of Santos.”
Uribe’s Centro Democratico is a newly formed political party focused on security, international investors’ confidence, conservative fiscal policies and social cohesion. The hardliner right-wing party will be challenging Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos‘s right-of-center party in the upcoming election.
The party have come in for criticism in recent days after naming Jose Obdulio Gaviria, cousin of former drug lord Pablo Escobar, a candidate for Senate.