Former senator and governor of the Antioquia department and current presidential hopeful, Luis Alfredo Ramos, has denied receiving criminal money and being affiliated with a known drug dealer, local media reported on Wednesday.
After being indicted last week by the Supreme Court on charges of having links to paramilitary groups, Uribe loyalist, Luis Ramos faces questioning over ties to the drug dealer, Juan Sierra, alias “El Tuso.”
All of the accusations including the primary one involving parapolitics came about due to a statement given to The Court by Sierra, who later recanted.
“El Tuso” said in 2010 that he had donated over $10 million to the Ramos’ political campaign at the turn of the century. Authorities claim that Ramos must have been present at the meeting where the money was exchanged. This same meeting, which would have taken place between 1998 and 2002 according to newspaper La Republica, has also implicated two other members of the former governor’s political party: Oscar Zaluaga and Francisco Santos.
“[All allegations] are completely false. I’ve never met or even seen in person this ‘El Tuso’ nor have I ever received money from him, or any criminal, either directly or through an intermediary,” insisted Ramos on Wednesday.
The former Antioquia leader claimed that he was in Washington, DC during the time of the alleged meeting, and the “El Tuso” himself redacted his statement in 2011.
“His withdrawal is recorded and held up by justice. I have no idea why he made this initial accusation, or why while in custody in a US prison in complete isolation, he recanted,” said Ramos.
Two days ago, the Attorney General requested that the Supreme Court allow the former governor to be released from prison as he is not a danger to himself or society currently.
In a statement recently made by Ramos, he claimed that since being arrested by the Supreme Court for his links to paramilitaries, this has been the most difficult time of his life.