In a report from the Baranquilla newspaper, El Heraldo, ex-head of the Resistencia Tayrona Bloc of the AUC, Jose Gelvez Albarracin, alias “El Canoso,” accused Tomas and Jeronimo Uribe of having business relations with Hector Ignacio Rodriguez, alias “Nacho,” the former counselor of Guachaca, Magdalena, who allegedly received paramilitary help in his campaign.
The brothers responded Wednesday, saying, “We met Mr Hector Ignacio Rodriguez in 2004 through common friends from Santa Marta and through his participation in a company that fabricated crafts from coco with artisans from the Sierra Nevada, promoted in programs financed by the American government. Mr. Rodriguez, as well as his family, were preceded by an excellent reputation, that of which can be corroborated by distinguished persons in the samaria society, among them the mayor of the city.”
“We never had indications of the link between Mr. Rodriguez and illicit activities or groups outside of the law. The meetings we had, including an afternoon walk in Parque Tayrona, in plain daylight, were surrounded by serious people like the mayor of the city of Santa Marta, who had plenty of confidence in Mr. Rodriguez and can give faith to the reputation that preceded him,” noted the brothers.
They concluded by saying that El Canoso’s statement is “full of lies, false matches and false intentions.”
El Canoso made his declaration about the former president’s sons during his testimony as part of the Justice and Peace Process. The Process has been instrumental in uncovering ties between government officials and paramilitary organizations through the testimony of numerous former fighters and paramilitary leaders.
The brothers say that this accusation simply, “Joins a series from criminals that, from prison, have accused our family of all types of crimes.”