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Colombia's President Uribe implicated in paramilitary death squad probe
by wsws (reposted)
Thursday Apr 24th, 2008 7:02 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2008 :The arrest of in Bogota of ex-Senator Mario Uribe Escobar, the cousin of Colombias president, on charges of involvement in the countrys paramilitary death squads has deepened the political crisis of Bushs closest political ally in Latin America.
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has also admitted to the media that he himself is a target of an investigation implicating him in the organization of a massacre by the paramilitaries.

Uribe Escobar, the former head of the Colombian Congress, is not only President Álvaro Uribes relative, but was also one of his closest political collaborators. He was arrested Tuesday as he left the Costa Rican embassy, where he had sought political asylum.

The Costa Rican government rejected the appeal as inappropriate. Protesters, who had gathered outside the embassy hanging the names and pictures of death squad victims on its gates, jeered and jostled the ex-senator as he was led away.

Colombian prosecutors announced that Uribe Escobar is wanted in connection with a probe into his meetings with paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso in advance of the March 2002 elections that brought his cousin to power. The former senator played a key role in getting Álvaro Uribe elected, and apparently mobilized the countrys death squads to help secure political victory.

In an interview with Colombias Radio Caracol Tuesday, President Álvaro Uribe confided that he had spent Easter week talking with lawyers defending him against charges made by a paramilitary in custody. The death squad member has testified that the Colombian president helped plan the infamous 1997 El Aro massacre in the state of Antioquia, when Álvaro Uribe was governor there.

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