Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said the Washington Post was penetrated by criminals, after the U.S. newspaper printed allegations by a former police major that the president’s brother Santiago Uribe led a paramilitary group, reports El Espectador.
“Criminals have the ability to turn a Nobel Peace prize winner into a useful idiot, to make a useful idiot of a priest, and penetrate a serious newspaper like the Washington Post,” Uribe said.
Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Argentine, said that Colombia must investigate the allegations against Santiago Uribe brought by former major, Juan Carlos Meneses, and warned that charges may be brought internationally if Colombia fails to act.
The Washington Post on Monday printed allegations made by Meneses that Santiago Uribe “led a fearsome paramilitary group” in the 1990s in Yarumal, where the Uribe family own land.
President Uribe expressed his frustration over the attacks on his security plan, which he sees as having been successful during his two terms as president, saying that “This administration has been beating the violent war gradually, [while] everyday these people throw thunderbolts against the government. But be quiet,” Uribe said.
On Thursday the Colombian Prosecutor General’s Office said that it intends to open a pre-investigation into the allegations made against the president’s brother.
Former police Major Meneses has had his integrity questioned in the past, following revelations that he was investigated for “irregularities” during his time in the Colombian police force. There are also allegations he is linked to a criminal organization that attempted to bribe Benavides to sully the Uribes’ name.