A retired Colombian police general pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court on Monday to charges he supported his country's AUC federation of right-wing militias, which is on Washington's list of international terrorist groups.
Gen. Mauricio Santoyo, who served as then-President Alvaro Uribe's security chief from 2002-2006, entered the plea as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neil H. MacBride, said in a statement.
Santoyo was accused May 24 by a U.S. federal grand jury for suspected ties with drug trafficking.
He surrendered in July to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and was flown to Washington.
In a written statement, Santoyo admitted having accepted bribes from members of the AUC in exchange for information about police operations and other kinds of assistance, which allowed the militias to engage in terrorist acts and carry out their drug-trafficking activities.
The ex-general faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail when he is sentenced on Nov. 30.
Santoyo came under investigation after three erstwhile AUC commanders extradited to the United States - Salvatore Mancuso, Juan Carlos Sierra and Carlos Mario Jimenez - testified that he had accepted bribes.
Santoyo retired from the National Police in 2009. EFE