The witness who reportedly confirmed receiving bribes from the fixer of Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe has been moved to another prison amid security concerns, local media reported Monday.
“Victor” was called to testify by Uribe’s defense to claim the controversial leader of the far-right Democratic Center party was the victim of a conspiracy, but reportedly flipped and confirmed he received money from lawyer Diego Cadena.
The reported testimony and evidence of the money transfers severely weakened Uribe’s defense strategy and apparently put the life of Victor, a former paramilitary commander, in danger.
To prevent incidents, Victor was transferred from the Tramacua prison in the northern city of Valledupar to the maximum security prison in Palmira, Valle del Cauca, reported weekly Semana and daily El Tiempo.
Victor served most of his prison sentence in Palmira, but was transferred to the medium security prison in Valledupar in April last year, a month before he and Cadena were wiretapped negotiating.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with the case, El Tiempo reported that the transfer was ordered by the Supreme Court.
The trial against Uribe is held behind closed doors and under extraordinary security measures not seen since trials against members of the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s.
The Supreme Court ordered these extreme security measures after the assassination of one of the members of the alleged “false witness cartel” defending the Uribe family and their ally, former Antioquia governor Alfredo Ramos.
Two witnesses who have testified against Uribe survived assassination attempts. Since Uribe was first ties to the Medellin Cartel in 1984, multiple potential witnesses who could confirm the former president’s alleged criminal activity have been assassinated or died mysterious deaths.
The apparent danger of testifying against the former president and former Medellin Cartel associate has added a new term to the Colombian urban dictionary, “suicide by Uribe.”