Uribe's financial ties with the Medellin cartel
The US Embassy was told, in 1993, by a Colombian Senator that the Alvaro Uribe Velez election campaign was financed by the Medellin drug cartel, according to documents posted today by the NSA archive.
In 1982 Uribe was elected mayor of Medellin, and then from 1984 to 1994 he gains for two consecutive times a seat in the Colombian Senate. From 1995 to 1997 he was elected governor for the Antioquia's department.
At least, a first time in 2002 and a second in 2006 he was elected president of Colombia.
From cables released today by the NSA archive, we realize how in nearly a decade - 2002-10 - the US Embassy in Colombia understood financial ties between Uribe and the Medellin cartel.
During a meeting held on February 1993 with a US Embassy officer, Senator Luis Guillermo Velez Trujillo, an ex-political Uribe's ally, told that the Ochoa-Vàsquez crime family financed Uribe political campaign. He also added that Uribe is a cousin of the Ochoa Vasquez drug kingpin, one of the founders of the Medellin drug cartel.
This explains why in December 1992 Uribe secretly met Pablo Escobar's wife, in order to negotiate the drug kingping surrender.
And now it seems that before being killed Escobar through the Ochoa asked back the favor in order to negotiate his conditions with the new President elected Cesar Gaviria, according to Senator Trujillo.
Accusations against Uribe were confirmed by another Liberal Party - the same one of Uribe - Senator, Alejandro Gonzalez. He also told that Uribe went deep into a panic because he was unable to deliver the message.
During his long presidential mandate, Uribe was able to spend millions to grant security, extradited a record number of criminals end reduced by half the number of armed guerrilla insurgents in the country. In 2014 Uribe was elected to the Senate for the Democratic Center party.
Even if no doubt seems to stain all policies he adopted to contrast narcotrafficking, suspicions about Uribe's links with the Medellin Cartel and his ambiguous subjection to paramilitary forces and their abuses, continued to surround him. One of the most controversial aspects from Uribe's legacy was the incredible increase of extrajudicial killings by the Colombian Army. Abuses on surveillance activities also have affected opposition's member as well as journalists, judges and human rights activists.
Uribe's cousin, Mario Uribe Escobar, is serving a sentence for his involvement with paramilitary groups, while his brother, Santiago Uribe Vèlez is now on trial for leading a death squad called the 12 Apostles.
Uribe himself has been investigated from the Colombian Supreme court for his involvement in murder and witness intimidation in relation to an investigation concerning members of an illegal paramilitary militia called Metro Bloc, created by Uribe's family members.
Following a period of meeting with the US Embassy in Medellin Uribe's image came out redefined, showing the economic role of his family in the Antioquia's region.
But suspicions on Uribe's ties with Medellin cartel came along one more time following Pablo Escobar's escape from his confinement, in 1992. Six months later Uribe and two others secretly met with Escobar's wife. Uribe told that the meeting had been organized to grant Escobar's safety, the central element in negotiation for the drug kingpin surrounding. Escobar spent sixteen months on the run before being killed in December 1993 in a police operation. (cm)
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