Alvaro Uribe was Thursday admitted as a “victim” in a Supreme Court case against a congressman who Wednesday filed charges against the former president accusing him of paramilitary ties, reported newscast CM&.
Congressman Ivan Cepeda was accused by the ex-leader of procedural fraud, misrepresentation and abuse of public office, based upon his own accusations that Uribe helped establish and coordinate a branch of the now demobilized AUC paramilitary organization.
The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court decided to accept Uribe as a civil party in the proceedings against Cepeda, which commenced in November 2011, allowing the former head of state to participate in all stages of the investigation.
The November 2011 charges were originally brought against Cepeda following the September publication of a newspaper column in Colombian daily El Tiempo, accusing the former leader of forming the Bloc Metro division of the AUC while serving as Governor of Antioquia from 1995 to 1997.
According to Cepeda, based on testimonies from former paramilitary leaders, Uribe and his brother Santiago helped establish the group, allowed Uribe family property to be used as a base of operations, and coordinated various illegal actions during Uribe’s 2002-2010 presidential term.
This latest twist in the ongoing battle between Cepeda and Uribe followed the Tuesday publication of a second edition of a book “The Gates of Uberrimo,” in which the congressman and human rights defender Jorge Rojas laid out the evidence they had collected in to the accusations, including the testimonies and a letter written by an assassinated journalist.
The book’s publication was followed Wednesday by Cepeda’s filing of formal charges against Uribe.
Dozens of Colombian congressmen — mostly allies of Uribe — have been convicted for their ties to the now-demobilized AUC, responsible for tens of thousands of human rights violations, including murder, rape and forced displacement. The infiltration of the paramilitary group into Uribe’s coalition has popularly become known as “parapolitics.”