Colombia’s Justice and Peace commission requested an investigation into ties between ex-President Alvaro Uribe and violent paramilitaries.
The commission wants to investigate ties between Uribe’s sons and former paramilitary leader Jose Gelvez Albarracín, alias “Canoso”, as well as allegations that paramilitaries assisted Uribe in his presidential campaign. The investigation would only serve to attest the truth of statements currently being made by Canoso and would not serve as a criminal investigation.
Canoso claimed that he relayed a message to Uribe when he was running his campaign in 2002. The former paramilitary also claimed that paramilitaries contributed $67,000 to the former president’s campaign. Canoso’s claim supports that of former paramilitaries “Alberto Guerrero” and “Pablo Sevillano” who earlier this year made similar claims.
The paramilitary said that he was personal friends with Uribe’s sons Jeronimo and Tomas and that he was introduced to them through former Councilman Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Rodríguez, who was extradited to the U.S. on drug charges.
A photo was released Thursday that showed both of Uribe’s sons embracing Canoso.
Paramilitary organization AUC had great political power until its demobilization in 2006. Dozens of national and local politicians have been sent to jail over the past few years because they used paramilitary intimidation of voters to be elected into office.