Former paramilitary chief Freddy ‘El Aleman’ Rendon Herrera told the Supreme Court that not only did he fund and support politicians in Colombia’s Choco department, but also lent them money for “personal use”.
Rendon Herrera specifically named congressmen Edgar Ulises Torres and Odin Sanchez, who are in jail awaiting trial on ‘parapolitics’ charges.
The former AUC warlord made a statement last September from his Itagui prison to Ivan Velasquez which served as basis for the politicians’ arrests.
In this statement, Rendon Herrera said that he loaned Torres 400 million pesos (around US$200,000) when the congressman said he needed the money as soon as possible. In his statement, he told the court that Torres was manipulating and “buying” witnesses so that they would not testify against him.
Rendon Herrera said that Torres had taken him to the Presidency and the Judicial Secretary, and offered him a consulate office or embassy to change the referendum, which did not eventuate.
He told the court that he had made alliances and pacts with various Choco politicians to attain different public offices such as Congress, despite the political confronations amongst the candidates, among them Odín Sanchez and Edgar Ulises Torres.
‘El ‘Aleman’ said that the alliances between paramilitaries and the meetings he held with politicians from Choco aimed to reach different mayors, governor and congressmen whom he considered “friends of the cause.”
One such friend was Torres, to whom he offered $USD10,000 for a trip to the United States. Although he didn’t offer further details, investigators believe it was for the trip that Torres made to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama, reports El Espectador.