Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Goes to Court

August 26, 2019

The Colombian Supreme Court of Justice called for an investigation of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez on October 8, 2019, for alleged manipulation of witnesses and procedural fraud.

Now Uribe will have to go to court with his lawyers and with Congressman Álvaro Hernán Prada, who is also part of the investigation for the same charges. He is accused of trying to bribe a witness, who was going to appear against him to accuse him of having relations with paramilitaries.

At the beginning of this legal dispute, Uribe denounced Senator Iván Cepeda in February 2018 for allegedly manipulating witnesses, an investigation that did not turn out in Uribe’s favor. Sometime later, Senator Cepeda’s lawyer denounced the plaintiff for the same reason, a successful lawsuit, in response to a complaint made by former paramilitary Juan Monsalve.

The reasons why Senator Uribe is being subpoenaed now are related to the visit made by his lawyer Diego Cadena asking the former paramilitary Monsalve to record a video retracting the accusation he was making. Monsalve, very astutely, managed to record with a clock the conversations that he then sent to the authorities, providing hundreds of hours of evidence.

Monsalve was a peasant who lived on the Guacharacas hacienda since he was a child with his father who was a butler. Years later he joined the criminal terrorist organization called the Twelve Apostles that operated out of the hacienda he was raised in. The group is accused of hundreds of murders, torture, displacement and the assassinations of social leaders.

Among other well-known figures who will testify against Uribe are former paramilitary Salvatore Mancuso who is seeking refuge under the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and former Prosecutor Montealegre, who has compiled “files on massacres, alleged linking Uribe with paramilitary groups, homicides and infiltration of political campaigns,” according to

It is important to point out that this case of false witnesses, on the part of Álvaro Uribe, is intended to divert attention from the relevant nature of the paramilitaries in which his brother Santiago Uribe participated. This process by which the senator is being summoned has resulted in the murder of eight witnesses.

On October 8, several witnesses will testify side by side, between former paramilitaries for and against the senator. What is important in this new development is the historical fact that for the first time an investigative body has called to testify a former president linked to this type and severity of accusations. What is hoped for is that the ruling of the justice system will reveal the truth and that it will operate with independence, transparency and accuracy.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano, translation North America bureau