Dolly Cifuentes changed her ‘innocent’ plea to ‘guilty’ in Florida federal court Tuesday on charges that she oversaw an international drug ring that knowingly shipped cocaine and other narcotics into the United States.
Cifuentes, the former partner of ex-Colombian president Alvaro Uribe‘s late brother and the mother of Uribe’s niece, was extradited to the United States in 2012, after a warrant was released for her arrest in 2010.
Her plea confirms accusations that she and two of her brothers assumed control of the Colombian-Mexican cartel previously headed by another brother, Francisco Cifuentes Villa, Pablo Escobar‘s former pilot and a known leader of a paramilitary narco-trafficking organization in Colombia prior to his murder in 2007.
Neither Uribe nor any of his political allies have ever been implicated in Cifuentes’ drug business, but the plea comes at a time when the ex-Colombian president and his associates have come under intense scrutiny, with Uribe himself being investigated for deliberate wire-taps and calls for investigations to be opened into his role in directing Colombia’s paramilitary organizations.
Cifuentes is believed to have made a deal with United States prosecutors in exchange for some level cooperation in ongoing joint operations to target the Colombian and Mexican drug trades.