An investigation into former President Alvaro Uribe’s alleged illegal conduct while governor of Antioquia has been referred to the prosecutor general after languishing for eight years without movement under his presidency, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
The Colombian Congress’ Accusations Committee sent the case to the Prosecutor General’s Office, which will open criminal proceedings against the ex-president for the awarding of a contract in August 1997 to CONVIVIR, a network of vigilante and security cooperatives that was later banned.
The contract reportedly enlisted 15 men to prevent the influx of contraband cigarettes and liquor into certain municipalities of the department of Antioquia, at a cost of nearly $15,000 a month.
Two months after the signing of the contract, in October 1997, the Secretary General of Antioquia supposedly made Uribe aware that the companies involved did not meet the legal requirements and that two of the intelligence officers had a history of murder, theft and assault.
The controversy surrounds the fact that despite this acquired knowledge, Uribe then renewed the contract for further year.
The investigation did not progress anywhere under Uribe’s eight years as president, yet representative Camilo Andres Abril believes that there will now be no further delays to the proceedings as certain legal complications are avoided by the fact that the alleged misconduct occurred before he was head of state.