On the 11th day of Colombia’s trial of the century, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two attorneys, one congressional aide and one journalist over the alleged fraud and bribery practices of former President Alvaro Uribe.
According to RCN Radio, the court has changed some of the dates, but this has not been confirmed either by the court or other media.
Witness #31 | Maria Claudia Daza
Maria Claudia Daza is one of Uribe’s assistants in the senate. The heir of a political dynasty from Valledupar ran for her own seat in the high chamber in 2014, but failed. It is unclear how she is involved in the alleged criminal practices of her boss.
Witness #32 | Mercedes Arroyave
Mercedes Arroyave is the attorney of Alberto Guerrero and Juan Guillermo Monsalve, the key witnesses who have testified Uribe formed the Bloque Metro paramilitary group with his brother and neighbors.
As Guerrero’s lawyer, Arroyave has confronted and defeated Uribe’s lawyers once before; the former president filed slander charges against her client for claiming Uribe formed the death squad and lost in 2015.
In this case, the attorney is a witness because she asked opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda in 2011 to talk to her client at the request of Guerrero who, like other members of the Bloque Metro, was kept out of the demobilization process of the AUC that included a transitional justice system that allowed the demobilized paramilitaries to tell the truth in exchange for judicial benefits.
Monsalve subsequently asked her to be his lawyer too.
The testimonies and recorded interviews Monsalve and Guerrero did with Cepeda began unveiling Uribe’s alleged ties to the Bloque Metro.
According to Guerrero, who will testify on October 2, his wife has received death threats and has been shadowed. Monsalve’s wife fled Colombia in 2018 after she too was intimidated.
Witness #33 | Hector Romero
Hector Romero is the attorney of Enrique Pardo, who was recorded by Monsalve together with Diego Cadena in 2018 while they were trying to coerce the key witness.
Romero allegedly facilitated this visit.
Witness #34 | Juan Carlos Giraldo
Juan Carlos Giraldo is a journalist who was accused by former drug trafficker “El Tuso” in 2018 of offering him judicial benefits if he testified against Uribe. El Tuso, however, was never able to coherently sustain the accusation and reportedly asked to be withdrawn as a witness.
The Supreme Court reportedly has evidence that El Tuso began spinning his conspiracy theory after he was visited by Uribe’s fixer, Diego Cadena.