“Authorities informed me that the extradited ‘Don Berna’ would be paying hitmen a fabulous sum to attack me,” he said via Twitter. He also demanded that the former AUC leader be “submitted to justice.”
Uribe, who was in power between 2002 and 2010, feels that paramilitaries are seeking “criminal revenge” against his government after 14 AUC members were extradited to the U.S in 2008. Currently Don Berna is serving a 31-year sentence in Florida on drug trafficking charges.
In his first testimony since late 2010, Don Berna claimed in January that the AUC received protection from Colombia’s now-dismantled Administrative Department of Security (DAS) and helped wiretap the phones of Uribe’s political opponents.
Don Berna’s accusations add to the testimonies of National Police director Oscar Naranjo, who left his position May 15, that several demobilized paramilitaries and former DAS officials have accused the Uribe government of paramilitary ties and of trying to discredit Supreme Court investigations into the scandal.
Colombia‘s inspector general requested a review of the testimony offered by Don Berna in February to determine whether investigations into former officials should be reopened.
Uribe and several of his allies denounced the paramilitary leader’s statements.
“This is another manifestation of the criminal vengeance the country already knows. The only thing my client asks is that the authorities look for who knows the truth and not serve as an instrument of those whose only goal is to deceive justice,” said Uribe’s attorney Jaime Granados in a January press release.
Paramilitary groups infiltration into Colombian political life during Uribe’s regime has become widely known as the “parapolitics” scandal.