Colombian prosecutors have an increasing amount of evidence indicating that a second of former President Alvaro Uribe‘s security chiefs was involved in drug trafficking, newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday.
According to the newspaper, prosecutors do not only have phone recordings between drug trafficker “El Papero” and suspended Police General Flavio Buitrago, but also a money launderer who has testified that he gave $700,000 to the former police official.
The money launderer, Jaime Dib More, reportedly told Colombian and United States prosecutors the money originated from drug trafficking and was meant to be laundered abroad.
The newspaper also claimed that Buitrago’s wife was a partner in one of El Papero’s front companies and that investigators are verifying whether one of the police official’s Bogota homes was acquired from a family member of the drug trafficker with ties to the now-defunct Medellin Cartel and drug trafficking organization Oficina de Envigado.
Buitrago, who was ordered to testify early Tuesday morning, has categorically denied ties to drug traffickers and told reporters he “trusted in God and Justice” his name would be cleared.
Buitrago is the second former security chief of Uribe to be investigated for ties with drug trafficking organization; his predecessor, former General Mauricio Santoyo, is currently in a U.S. jail after admitting to tipping off drug traffickers about counter narcotics operations.
The former president is also under criminal investigation after demobilized fighters of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC testified the Antioquia-based Bloque Metro paramilitary group was founded by Uribe. The former head of state has fiercely denied the accusations.