Colombia’s prosecution continues to stall investigations into former President Alvaro Uribe’s alleged involvement in crimes against humanity and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutor Javier Cardenas asked a Bogota court on Monday to drop fraud and bribery charges pressed by the Supreme Court in 2018.
Cardenas is also in charge of an investigation into Uribe’s alleged involvement in multiple homicides in the late 1990’s that hasn’t progressed for two years.
Both criminal investigations are related to the alleged ties between the former president’s family and the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC and ended Uribe’s political career in 2019.
The fraud and bribery charges
Cardenas requested a Bogota court to revoke a ruling that rejected a prosecution’s request to drop the fraud and bribery charges earlier this year.
The court finds that it is reasonably possible to claim that former Senator Uribe, in the broadest sense, intervened in the activity that is subject to investigation, which implies that it’s impossible to conclude with certainty that… the suspect has nothing to do with it.
The prosecution initially sought to unilaterally drop the charges against Uribe, but this was deemed illegal by another court.
The Supreme Court charges could land Uribe in prison and trigger charges related to the former president’s alleged role in the formation of the AUC’s “Bloque Metro” in the late 1990’s.
Multiple former members of the Bloque Metro have accused Uribe and his brother Santiago of founding the paramilitary group together with former Medellin Cartel associates.
The former president has consistently denied having anything to do with the AUC and the now-defunct cartel from his native Antioquia province.
The homicide investigation
Cardenas isn’t just trying to bury the former president’s alleged fraud and bribery practices, but has omitted to continue an investigation into Uribe’s alleged involvement in crimes against humanity.
The Supreme Court started this investigation into Uribe’s alleged role in multiple massacres carried out by the AUC and former Medellin crime lord “Don Berna” in 2018.
Uribe resigned from the Senate and renounced from his congressional benefits in 2019, effectively barring the Supreme Court from formally charging the former president with homicide.
Uribe’s decision forwarded the criminal investigations to the prosecution, which can’t legally end them without court approval.
Cardenas’ failure to effectively investigate Uribe’s alleged role in the paramilitary massacres could get the prosecutor in legal trouble if evidence of obstruction emerges.