Israeli mercenary Yair Klein says that Colombia’s ex-President Alvaro Uribe was among the landowners who financed the training of paramilitary groups in the 1980s.
On Tuesday, Klein made the claim that “one of the trainees was later president of Colombia…he was one of the landowners who paid for the training…I’m not saying the name because you know exactly who it is,” however such a claim only led to speculation as to who he was referring to.
Speaking through video conference to a Colombian court, Klein on Thursday said that while he had never met or had been paid by Uribe directly, he had been told that the former president was among those financing the military training of militias that in the 1990s became the AUC, Colombia’s largest paramilitary organization repsonsible for tens of thousands of human rights violations.
Uribe responded at Klein’s allegations via twitter calling him a ”villain” and a ”coward”
Olga Behar y Klein, como todo bandido,cobarde a distancia y sinuoso
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) November 14, 2012
Klein claimed that payment of $70,000 a year was made in three installments; firstly by an unnamed congressman in Bogota, secondly payment was made by a man named Luis Meneses in the Israeli capital Jerusalem while the third payment was made in the Colombian town of Puerto Boyaca.
Klein is an Israeli mercenary and founded the mercenary group Spearhead Ltd in the early 1980’s.
Klien is wanted in Colombia under accusations of training paramilitaries that went on to form the AUC, Colombia’s largest drug trafficking organisation and a facilitator for some of the worst crimes against humanity that the country has seen. the mercenary insists it was agreed that, on the three occasions he traveled to Colombia to train paramilitaries, his actions were not illegal. He also insists that Israeli weaponry was never used in the training and supplying of the paramilitaries. He has expressed his regret at taking part in training what would become the AUC and apologized to the victims of the paramilitaries actions.