According to Gallup, the announcement of the trial on fraud and bribery charges sunk Uribe’s approval rating four percentage points to a 34%, a low not recorded since the year 2000.
Uribe’s approval was 80% after the controversial former president left office in August 2010, but has gradually dropped.
Alvaro Uribe’s approval rating
Source: Gallup Colombia
The Duque element
The drop of the former president’s approval rating accelerated after the election of his protege, President Ivan Duque, last year.
Duque’s approval rating plummeted to 29% in November after Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla announced tax hikes for the middle class.
Also in the last Gallup poll, the president’s approval rating was 29% and again reached his record 64% disapproval rating.
The alleged criminal element
The Supreme Court charged Uribe over the alleged manipulation of witnesses who have testified he, his brother Santiago and his neighbors formed a death squad in the 1990s.
While the Uribe family’s ties to the Medellin Cartel have been public since 2002, the former president’s alleged leading role in the formation of the Bloque Metro paramilitary group was not made public until 2013.
Since then, Uribe has been in court. The former president in 2014 filed criminal charges against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda, who revealed Uribe’s alleged paramilitary ties in his book “Along the paths of El Uberrimo.”
The charges, however, back-lashed when the court found evidence that Uribe and his associates were allegedly trying to bribe witnesses.
Within three months after the court filed the fraud and bribery charges against Uribe, one witness was assassinated and two survived assassination attempts.
The court will begin hearing witnesses in the Uribe trial on Tuesday and interrogate the former president on October 8, a few weeks before the next Gallup poll is expected.