Former president Álvaro Uribe defends generals responsible for spying on Colombian peace negotiators
The deposed generals held responsible for spying on Colombia’s peace negotiators have at least one powerful ally: former president Álvaro Uribe.
Uribe defended the deposed generals and verbally attacked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the rapidly developing scandal.
And Uribe, who has clearly benefited from highly confidential information about the peace talks accused Santos of a “demoralizing” attack against the military which he claimed was clearly “pleasing” to terrorists.
“This is another blow to demoralize the nation´s officials, to give pleasure to the FARC terrorists,” Uribe said in an aggressive defence of the illegal spying operation revealed this week after a year-long investigation by news magazine La Semana.
Santos, who has made a achieving a peace agreement to end a half-century of bloody conflict with FARC guerrillas the platform of his candidacy for a second presidential term, fired two generals and ordered an immediate investigation after La Semana revealed on Tuesday the military-sponsored spying operation against the government´s own peace negotiators.
Uribe has staunchly denied any connection with the operation, but has never explained how he was able to publicly attack the process with highly secretive information.
Uribe denounced exploratory attempts by the Santos adminstration to begin peace with the guerrillas even before the negotiations began in November 2012. And he publicized coordinates of where helicopters were to meet and extract FARC negotiators from secret locations so they could participate in negotiation in Havana, Cuba.
Previous attempts by Colombian presidents to negotiate peace accords with FARC guerrillas have been strongly opposed by their own military, which have ignored orders for ceasefires and attempted to derail negotiations.
Hundreds of members of Colombian security forces military, police and intelligence have already been convicted for their roles in assassinations of left-wing politicians, human rights workers and other perceived enemies. It´s probable that thousands of others – retired and active – fear a peace accord and possible investigations of their activities.
Uribe – who has repeatedly been accused of assisting paramilitaries – has staunchly defended security forces even in the most extreme cases.
He harshly criticised Santos last year when the president apologized for the state´s role in a massacre in which members of the military have been criminally convicted.
Santos apologized publicly for the massacre in 2005 in San José de Apartadó in which Colombian soldiers and paramilitaries working together executed and mutilated three men, two women, an 11-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl, and an 18-month old infant.
Members of the military during their trials defended killing even the children because they said: “they will grow up to be our enemies.”
Uribe, who was president during the massacre, also justified the massacre in a way that was shocking even in a country that had grown somewhat accustomed to such violence.
Uribe said that while there were some good people in San José de Apartadó there were also others who aided, and supported FARC “terrorists”.
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In English: http://davidhogben.com/2014/02/05/colombian-military-defies-president-santos-civilian-rule-spies-on-government-peace-negotiators/
About Connecting ColombiasRecently retired newspaper reporter with one foot in British Columbia, Canada, the other in Colombia, South America. Fascinated with Colombian culture, Canadian connections, and heroic efforts to return millions of displaced Colombians to lands stolen by paramilitaries, guerrillas and organized crime.
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