Colombia’s Supreme Court asked the House of Representatives’ Investigative Commission Friday to investigate allegations by extradited former paramilitary boss Salvatore Mancuso that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has links to the paramilitaries, reports Santa Fe Radio.
The court provided the Congress commission with testimony provided by Mancuso, in which he alleges that high ranking army officials and politicians met with paramilitaries to discuss supporting Uribe’s 2002 bid for the presidency.
During during a Supreme Court hearing a week previously, Mancuso said that several of the illegal militias’ leaders met in 2001 at a conference of paramilitary organization the AUC, and spoke about the need to support “a candidate with an ideology akin to that of the paramilitaries” on issues like security and combating rebels.
According to the testimony, military operations were suspended in order to allow paramilitary groups to “seek support” for Uribe. Mancuso also alleges that paramilitaries funded Uribe’s 2002 election campaign.
This is the first time that Mancuso has directly alleged that paramilitaries were involved in Uribe’s election campaign. Other paramilitaries, such as Freddy Rendon Herrera, alias “El Aleman,” Francisco Villalba alias “Cristian Barreto,” and Miguel Angel Mejia, alias “El Mellizo,” have previously made the same allegations.
Mancuso was extradited to the US in 2008 and stands accused of over 10,000 murders.