The ex-Medellín prosecutor and brother of Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister was arrested Thursday for suspected ties to the narcotrafficker and paramilitary known as ‘Don Mario.’
The arrest of Guillermo León Valencia Cossio comes weeks after he was forced out as Medellín’s head prosecutor following Cambio magazine’s publication of transcripts of taped conversations between the two men.
The arrest was ordered by the prosecutorial arm of the Supreme Court, which is investigating charges against Valencia Cossio including conspiracy to commit a crime, illicit enrichment, and using inside information, reported Caracol Radio.
It is alleged that the prosecutor assisted Daniel Rendón Herrera, a.k.a. “Don Mario”, while serving as Medellín’s head prosecutor, allegations supported in part by taped conversations between Valencia Cossio and businessman Felipe Sierra which refer to the former’s close relationship with the paramilitary chief.
Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister, Fabio Valencia Cossio, immediately issued a statement accepting the arrest and expressing the “pain” he felt as a brother, but not answering renewed questions about whether he has any intention to resign.
“As minister I follow respectfully the decision taken by the nation’s Attorney General, as citizen I abide by it, and as a brother I express my profound feeling of pain and fraternal solidarity,” he said in an appearance broadcast by Canal Caracol.
Retired General Marco Antonio Pedreros, the former prosecutorial director of Monteria and other top judicial officials of Antioquia are also being investigated in the ‘parapolitics’ scandal that has spread across the department.