Colombia’s vice-President, Francisco Santos, Monday denied having enjoyed ties to paramilitary groups as investigated by the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office.
In a press release by his office, Santos says to respect the PG’s decision, but says to regret that he was not notified of the investigation before the media were and that publicizing the investigation is “sowing doubts about my person, my reputation and that of the government which with determination has fought against paramilitarism and put all paramilitary bosses in jail.”
The vice-President demands a “quick and efficient” investigation to prevent the accusations to be used against Santos politically “by those who are more interested in discrediting the government than the rights of victims and peace in Colombia.”
Earlier on Monday, the assistant Prosecutor General announced the investigation against the vice-President. According to testimonies by several paramilitary leaders, Santos had been involved in the forming of paramilitary groups in Bogota.
The ‘parapolitics’ scandal has severely damaged the reputation of the Uribe administration, who has seen dozens of its supporters in Congress being investigated for alleged ties to paramilitary death squads.