The extradited former supreme leader of paramilitary organization AUC has said that he met with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe when the latter was Governor of Antioquia, reported Canal Capital Sunday.
A judge asked former paramilitary head Salvatore Mancuso if he had met Uribe prior to 2002 and discussed issues not of a political nature.
“Yes, I met him,” said Mancuso, though he would not elaborate further.
One of the meetings Mancuso did expand on, allegedly took place at Uribe’s family owned Uberrimo estate in the department of Cordoba during the former President’s three-year gubernatorial term (1995-1997). According to Mancuso, the result of this meeting was the appointment of former Police Commander, Raul Suarez.
From a Virginia prison, Mancuso reiterated that he contributed to Uribe’s presidential reelection campaign in 2006, the same year the AUC and other paramilitary groups disbanded.
After demobilization, Mancuso was handed over to the United States along with 12 other paramilitary leaders wanted for trafficking, money laundering and financing terrorism in Colombia.
This is not the first time these kinds of allegations have been made against Uribe. Last May, the ex-president announced he would sue Mancuso for making similar accusations.
During its reign from 1997-2006, the AUC benefitted from close ties with the Colombian government and armed forces. The symbiotic relationship became known as “parapolitics”, a scandal which broke in 2006 and resulted in the conviction of hundreds of lawmakers and public officials.