Bogotá, Colombia – A leftist lawmaker asked the Colombian Attorney General's Office to investigate former President Alvaro Uribe for helping to found a paramilitary group in the 1990s.
The accusations leveled by congressman Ivan Cepeda are based on accounts from former paramilitaries who said that Uribe, as governor of Antioquia province, facilitated the formation of the Metro Bloc, a unit of the now-demobilized AUC federation of rightist militias.
Cepeda said Uribe's brother Santiago and two other men, Juan Guillermo Villegas Uribe and Santiago Gallon Henao, were also involved in creating the Metro Bloc.
The congressman offered photographs and statements from former paramilitaries indicating that the Uribe brothers' Gucharacas ranch, located in San Roque, Antioquia, hosted a militia base during Alvaro Uribe's 1995-1997 tenure as provincial governor.
Cepeda is also seeking additional protection for several jailed paramilitaries who have been testifying about the erstwhile president's alleged involvement with the militias.
One of those witnesses, Juan Monsalve, was recently accosted and stabbed by two other inmates at Combita prison, the congressman said.
The AUC, which demobilized as part of a peace process with the 2002-2010 Uribe government, is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths in Colombia, according to a U.S. State Department cable disseminated by WikiLeaks.