Former Colombian President Ernesto Samper said Tuesday that he had been aware of plans by now-presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos to coordinate a coup during Samper’s time as head of state from 1994 to 1998.
Speaking on national radio station Caracol, the former president claimed that he had been alerted as to the existence of a “sinister” group wishing to overthrow his government.
“I am sure that yes there were plans to gather a sinister coalition including Juan Manuel Santos, drug-traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitaries. I was made aware by Gilberto Echeverry, who was my minister, of the contacts that they were making, even with the FARC,” said Samper.
The former president described Santos as “the sweet cream of the poisonous cake” for his alleged role in the plot.
Samper’s statement was in reference to recent accusations by former AUC boss Salvatore Mancuso, who claimed that Santos had solicited the help of paramilitary head Carlos Castaño to carry out a coup to overthrow then-President Samper.
The presidential candidate denied the claims, saying that former AUC boss Salvatore Mancuso accused him of having plotted a coup out of spite and that the accusations already had been investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office without results.