Paramilitary umbrella organization AUC obliged all citizens living in
areas controlled by the paramilitaries to vote for Horacio Serpa in the
first round of the 1998 presidential election and winner Andrés
Pastrana in the second, extradited AUC boss ‘Jorge 40’ testified Monday. Pastrana denies the accusations.
According to Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias Jorge 40, former head of the AUC, Carlos Castaño told them to organize the “liberated” people to vote for Serpa, because “when he’d get to the Presidency he would negotiate with them”.
Jorge 40 couldn’t say if the order to vote for Serpa came from the Liberal politician himself, but did know a “high cleric of the church” and some political friends of the presidential candidate had requestedthe paramilitary support.
Castaño changed his mind for the second round of the election and told his capos to force the people to vote for Pastrana (Conservative Party). “The people didn’t understand, but they did it,” Tovar Pupo told the judge.
The former president immediately responded, saying the accusations made by the paramilitary boss were “absolutely false.”
According to the ‘Jorge 40’, the AUC also influenced the 2002 election that was won by Álvaro Uribe, but wouldn’t say how.
‘Jorge 40’ testified before the Supreme Court as part of Colombia’s Justice and Peace law. He is currently awaiting trial in the U.S. for drug trafficking and money laundering charges.