Uribe is charged with playing an important role in founding paramilitary groups and providing personal training to key members on his own property while he was governor of the department of Antioquia. The former president has always proclaimed his innocence despite mounting testimonies. The “parapolitics” case against Uribe was closed in 2000, only to be reopened again 13 years later.
A 13-page document reportedly sent to Colombian newspaper El Espectador notes that Uribe’s long-standing political enemy, human rights advocate and house representative Ivan Cepeda, who is again spearheading the campaign against the former president, collected numerous statements from imprisoned ex-members of the AUC. Among the statements is one from Pablo Hernan Sierra, alias “Alberto Guerrero,” the former member of a militarized AUC block, who stated that in Antioquia sometime in the mid-90s, a “private army” was created by numerous people, including Uribe.
Another statement came from, Juan Monsalve Pineda, the son of the man who owned the farm Uribe apparently used for the inception and training of the AUC. The man reiterated that the group the former president formed, was responsible for massacres across the country.
The prosecutor, Roberto Arturo Puentes, has ordered background checks on informants Hernan and Monsalve in order to validify their claims. The prosecution has also stated that a claim surrounding the possibility that the Antioquia Defense Ministry put a bounty of the head of Francisco Javier Zuluaga, alias “John Paul,” a leader of Colombia’s second largest left-wing guerrilla group, ELN.
Jamie Granados, Uribe’s lawyer has stated that his client is the victim of a carousel of false witnesses, labeling the case “deplorable” and that there is no merit to reopen the investigation and slander the former president “with its reckless stories.”