Former Senator Mario Uribe Escobar, the cousin of former President Alvaro Uribe was released from prison Wednesday after serving four and a half years in prison for his ties to paramilitary organization AUC.
The former President of the Senate regained his freedom this week after serving 54 months of 90-month sentence. Judge Anibal Fidel Arroyo granted Uribe parole, citing good behavior and a majority of the sentence already served.
Uribe was originally detained in 2008 following a failed attempt at gaining political asylum in Costa Rica. Although he was subsequently released, he was arrested again on February 24, 2010.
In February 2011, the Supreme Court sentenced Uribe to seven and a half years in prison for his dealings with paramilitaries. Uribe served his sentence in Bogota’s notorious La Picota complex and the Yarumito prison in Antioquia.
Uribe’s conviction followed accusations that he had garnered the support of paramilitaries for his senatorial election run in 2002. Witnesses alleged the aspiring politician facilitated the dispossession of peasant land by paramilitaries in return for political support to achieve a seat in congress.
Uribe is one of the dozens of congressman implicated in the “parapolitics” scandal, a term used to describe the ties between the once-determined terrorist and now-demobilized paramilitary organization AUC, and Colombian lawmakers, businessmen and public officials.