According to Oscar Naranjo, Colombia’s former director of National Police, Santoyo said that Uribe supported promoting him to head of the country’s anti-kidnapping unit or the police intelligence unit.
“When the colonel [Santoyo] was finishing his course to become brigadier general, he personally told me that he aspired to the position of director of DIPOL [police intelligence unit] or GAULA [anti-kidnapping unit] and [that he] already had the approval of then president Alvaro Uribe,” said Naranjo.
The former police director said that he discussed the matter with President Juan Manuel Santos, who was then defense minister, but did not validify Santoyo’s statements with Uribe.
President Santos on Monday claimed that Uribe personally recommended Santoyo for the two positions. The president’s comments elicited a venomous denial from Uribe, who is also being investigated for reported ties to paramilitaries.
Mauricio Santoyo is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence in the United States.