Former President Alvaro Uribe‘s then-security chief has pleaded guilty to aiding paramilitary groups before a Virginia court, Colombian media reported Monday.
Retired General Mauricio Santoyo admitted to supporting the drug-trafficking AUC paramilitary organization while working as Uribe’s top security aide.
However, the former top police official plead not guilty to drug trafficking charges brought against him.
Santoyo was Uribe’s security chief between 2002 and 2006 after which he was named military attache in Italy.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, the retired general is suspected of having been paid by both paramilitary organizations to leak classified intelligence information and results of illegal wiretaps about competing drug traffickers “who were later found assassinated.”
Newspaper El Espectador reported that the retired General has been accused of collaborating with drug traffickers by former AUC commanders Salvatore Mancuso and “Macaco.” According to the newspaper, the two extradited paramilitaries have accused several other high police and army officials of having ties to the AUC.
The AUC, officially demobilized in 2006, was considered a terorrist organization by the U.S. The support of terrorist organizations has a maximum penalty of 30 years.
According to Caracol Radio, Uribe’s former security chief will be sentenced on November 30. He faces a prison sentence between 10 and 17 years.