Santiago Uribe, brother of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, denied plotting against the country’s housing minister Friday amid investigations of the politician for alleged ties to paramilitary death squads.
Uribe’s denial followed German Vargas Lleras’ formal complaint to Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Thursday that the businessman was behind a plot to buy witnesses to give false testimony against him in a case tying Vargas with paramilitary warlord “Martin Llanos.”
The former president’s brother stifled rumors he was going to take any legal action against Vargas and said he had no hand in the proceedings of the current investigation opened against the housing minister.
“I do not have any influence over the inspector general of the nation, not in a single institution of the nation. I am an ordinary citizen, subject to all types of investigations and I don’t have the capacity to manage a plot against anybody,” Uribe told Caracol Radio.
Uribe also denied knowing or having any connection to Martin Llanos, claiming he only knew what the media had published. Uribe also rejected knowing any businessmen in the emerald sector, with whom Vargas’ claims Uribe had dealings with as part of the plot.
The inspector general opened an investigation against Lleras in early July after receiving several testimonies, including those of Rafael Garcia, a former director of the now-dismantled intelligence agency DAS, and Julio Acosta, the former governor of Arauca, who claimed Vargas met with the paramilitary warlord when he was senator.
Lleras is one of hundreds of Colombian politicians accused of having ties to paramilitary groups, in a scandal which has become known as “Parapolitics.”