Paramilitary accusations set up epic post-election, Cepeda-Uribe Colombian confrontation


Iván Cepeda´s latest literary expose of former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe´s paramilitary connections sets the stage for an immense post-election confrontation.

(Photo: Liliana Campo) Colombian politician/author/human rights defender and co-author Alirio Uribe are champions of the battle to reveal the paramilitary connections of former president Álvaro Uribe in their book released last Saturday in an overflowing theatre.

(Photo: Liliana Campo) Colombian politician, author and human rights defender Iván Cepeda and co-author Alirio Uribe are champions of the battle to reveal the paramilitary connections of former president Álvaro Uribe in their book released last Saturday in an overflowing theatre.

Por las sendas de El Ubérrimo is Cepeda´s second book about Uribe – co-authored with prominent human rights lawyer Alirio Uribe – dedicated to exposing the former president´s paramilitary roots, before and during his two terms as Colombian president.

Cepeda and Uribe – at opposite ends of the Colombian political spectrum – are both strong favourites to be elected to the Senate in Sunday´s elections. Uribe is heading his own political party, strongly opposed to the current peace negotiations with FARC guerrillas.

The launch of  Por las sendas de El Ubérrimo, like most political events involving Cepeda, was overflowing with participants. The event at Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez had people waiting outside the doors attempting to listen to the speech by Colombia´s anti-paramilitary champion.

One can only imagine the ferocious debates which Cepeda will wage against the former president Álvaro Uribe. (Co-author Alirio Uribe, by the way, is no relation to Álvaro Uribe, the former president. His campaign literature prominently displays the statement: El otro Uribe, The other Uribe.)

Cepeda – whose father was assassinated by paramilitaries working with the complicity of the Colombian government – investigated Uribe´s paramilitary roots from his pre-presidential days on the family hacienda called Las Guacharacas.

The second book, Por las sendas de El Ubérrimo, reveals further revelations about the development of paramilitary groups on another family hacienda El Ubérrimo. It also goes on to relate how president Uribe´s former head of security then general Mauricio Santoyo was the paramilitary connection inside the presidency during Uribe´s time in Colombia´s top office.

Many of these accusations are based upon confessions by Santoyo, who now is in a U.S. prison for drug trafficking.

Cepeda, who is one of the most threatened persons in Colombia, is also being investigated for his corruption-fighting activities by the same man who is attempting to end the political career of Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro.

Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez is already investigating Cepeda, but Cepeda has appealed to the Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos to prevent him from being removed from office as Ordóñez is attempting to do to Petro.

Even if Cepeda is re-elected as expected on Sunday, he will likely be fighting for his political life against Ordóñez as Petro is today.

For more information about Iván Cepeda please read: http://secure.humanrightsfirst.org/defenders/hrd_colombia/alert022008_Ivan2.htm

En Español: http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-13577835.html

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About Connecting Colombias

Recently 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.

3 responses to “Paramilitary accusations set up epic post-election, Cepeda-Uribe Colombian confrontation”

  1. Bryan Nott says :

    It was good to see Ivan Cepeda re-elected and that will make for an interesting few years. Ivan is not short of courage and whilst the election results make for depressing reading there is at least hope whilst people such as he are still fighting.

    • Connecting Colombias says :

      Iván Cepeda certainly is a courageous person with an amazing record of exposing corruption and state violence. He seems at great risk of suffering the same fate as Piedad Córdoba, and Gustavo Petro. Sadly, it seems likely Alejandro Ordóñez will attempt to remove him from office. It would be a harsh blow to Colombian democracy, but rather fortunate for Álvaro Uribe if it happens.

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