Colombia’s ex-President Alvaro Uribe published a letter in the Washington Post Sunday, defending himself against allegations his administration used U.S. funds to illegally wiretap government opponents.
The letter followed a front-page article in The Post last week in which was reported that the Uribe administration used money from Plan Colombia to buy the equipment used by intelligence agency DAS to spy on political opponents, journalists, Supreme Court judges.
Uribe had already said the allegations made in the article “manipulate facts and distort reality” in a public statement sent through his Twitter account.
In his letter to the Post, Uribe claimed that “such reckless distortions harm the image of a government that dismantled the paramilitary structures in Colombia and extradited their kingpins to the United States.”
“During my administration, more than 1,100 drug dealers were extradited, illicit crops were reduced by 50 percent, and narco-terrorist organizations such as FARC and ELN were substantially weakened. Most important, these unquestionable results were achieved with the transparent and rigorous support of the U.S. government,” the former President added.
According to Uribe, his “administration worked hard to restore confidence and to create a path to prosperity for all Colombians. We succeeded in that effort thanks to our daily commitment to work with transparency, consistency and competence, open to public scrutiny.”
Several of Uribe’s closest aides are in jail for the illegal wiretapping. The former President himself is being investigated by a congressional commission.
This is not the first time Uribe clashed with the Post. The then-president accused the paper of having been penetrated by criminals last year, after the Post printed allegations by a former police major that the president’s brother Santiago Uribe led a paramilitary group