Paramilitary commander “Don Berna” has told Colombia’s Supreme Court that his organization, the AUC, donated a million dollars to the successful 2002 election campaign of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, reported Noticias Uno on Sunday.
The newscast said the Supreme Court had sent copies of the extradited paramilitary leader’s testimony to Congress weeks after a Medellin judge ordered the Accusations Committee to investigate the former head of state for his alleged ties to paramilitary death squads.
Noticias Uno did not show evidence corroborating its claim.
Uribe has seen an increase in legal pressure over his alleged ties to the paramilitary group held responsible for tens of thousands of human rights violations as his newly-formed political party, the Democratic Center, is preparing primaries to elect a presidential candidate.
One of the presidential candidates was arrested over hie alleged ties to the AUC, while two other presidential hopefuls and a number of the party’s congressional candidates are under investigation.
Uribe has long been accused of having ties to the paramilitary organization and is already being investigated by the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office for his alleged role in the forming of a paramilitary organization in his home department of Antioquia.
The former president’s brother is investigated for similar charges, while Uribe’s cousin — a former senator — is in prison for collaborating with the AUC in order to receive the electoral support needed to be elected into Congress.
Uribe has vehemently denied any ties to illegal armed groups and claims he and his political allies are victim of a conspiracy.
The paramilitary AUC was former in the late 1990s with the support of large landowners and the security forces. Until the end of its official demobilization process in 2006, the organization garnered an increasing support among politicians who used the paramilitaries to intimidate the electorate and get voted into office.
Investigations into this practice, called “parapolitics,” has resulted in the incarceration of more than 55 congressman and six governors.
- Alias Don Berna dice que financió campaña de Uribe de 2002 (Noticias Uno)