Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday blamed Colombia’s former President, Alvaro Uribe, of being an accomplice in the assassination of a Venezuelan sports journalist.
“Be careful, Venezuela,” said Maduro: “Be careful because behind this could be the hand of Alvaro Uribe Velez, the paramilitaries.”
Uribe, through his attorney, immediately denied the allegations, claiming the accusation came “from a desperate person who illegally came to power and who now is trying to divert the attention of the corruption and the illegality the dictatorship he leads.”
According to attorney Jaime Granados, Maduro “tries to — through slander and threats — find scapegoats where there are none.”
Facing Maduro’s accusations, Granados called on the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights to grant protection for Uribe. According to Granados, “his life and physical integrity is put in danger.”
The accusations followed the assassination of a sports journalist who was murdered Friday. However, even before the killing of the journalist came to light, Maduro accused Uribe of plotting to kill him.
The Colombian former president has been one of the most vociferous critics of the Venezuelan administrations of respectively Hugo Chavez and Maduro, who he accuses of having ties to Colombian rebel groups.