The United States is not investigating any other Colombian police officials than the former security chief of former President Alvaro Uribe, said the director of Colombia’s national police Wednesday.
General Jose Roberto Leon said that the “toughest” prosecutor in the U.S. on the matter of drug trafficking confirmed that for the moment “there are no current investigations against active or retired officials” of the Colombian police.
“Yesterday I personally interviewed with the toughest prosecutor of the United States on the matter of drug trafficking, Neil McBride, who is running the case against [retired general Mauricio] Santoyo. He indicated: ‘there are bad apples in every institution, Santoyo is an apple that acted on his own, but that can’t affect the whole organization,” said Leon.
The prosecutor allegedly claimed that the Colombian police had the trust and support of the U.S., and that they won’t be seen as tarnished because of the actions of one of its former officials.
Santoyo is currently incarcerated in the U.S. for his collaboration with paramilitary organization AUC that allegedly involved illegal wiretapping, intimidation, kidnappings and disappearances. The retired general also acknowledged accepting bribes from paramilitary members in exchange for giving them information about police operations being carried out against them.
“McBride indicated that in this moment there are no investigations in course against active or retired officials with the Colombian police,” added Riaño.
The general also said that the U.S. prosecution indicated “the team of the DEA and the Colombian police is a a model that they will replicate in other countries of the world.”
Colombian media have indicated that U.S. authorities are investigating other Colombian officials and that the Santoyo case was “the tip of the iceberg.” An opposition senator last week presented what he called evidence of another five officials with ties to the AUC, accusing Uribe of bring “a criminal apparatus” to the presidential palace when taking office in 2002.