Former Colombia President Alvaro Uribe on Sunday defended the innocence of his arrested brother, reiterating claims that the Uribe family and political allies are victim of a major conspiracy.
The written attack was part of Uribe’s first formal response to the arrest of his brother Santiago Uribe, who was arrested for allegedly having formed a far-right paramilitary group in the early 1990s.
Uribe said his brother “has been a good citizen, son, brother, husband, father and friend” who had been the victim of guerrilla violence on two occasions.
According to the former president, his brother is in prison not because of his involvement in the foundations of “The 12 Apostles,” but because of a conspiracy involving guerrillas, paramilitaries, leftist NGOs, the government and the judicial branch.
In his seven-page rebuttal of the charges, Uribe also accused witnesses in the case of being either insane or seeking personal benefits.
Uribe even went as far as accusing former Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez from Argentina of being “at the service of terrorism.”
The former president has used similar arguments in previous court cases, but without success.
Since leaving office in 2010, Colombian courts have convicted numerous allies of Uribe, demonstrating unprecedented corruption, political persecution and ties to paramilitary death squads at the top levels of government.
Uribe’s cousin Mario and dozens of other former congressmen were convicted before Uribe left office on charges they had collaborated with paramilitary death squads to secure their election in spite of government attempts to derail the investigations.
The ongoing revelations of criminal activity committed by the Uribe administrations, a court investigation into Uribe’s alleged personal involvement in a 1997 massacre and his increasingly radicalized rejection of peace talks with the FARC, have politically isolated the former head of state.