Society

Colombia's Supreme Court orders the house arrest of former president Alvaro Uribe

Uribe, who is currently a senator, stands accused of fraud and witness tampering

Former Colombian president and senator Alvaro Uribe. Photo: Shutterstock
  • Alvaro Uribe is known as the political mentor of Colombia’s current president Ivan Duque;
  • The decision is unprecedented in Colombia, as never before a detention order has been issued against a former president in the country.

Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice announced on Tuesday its decision to order the house arrest of senator and Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe for alleged frauds and tampering of witnesses.

Uribe, who is accused of links to far-right paramilitary organizations, was the first one to publicize the decision, using his Twitter account to denounce what he considers to be an injustice, according to Reuters. The decision is unprecedented in Colombia, as never before a detention order has been issued against a former president in the country,

Uribe is the political mentor of Colombia’s current president Ivan Duque and has repeatedly declared his innocence and questioned the court’s independence.

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“The deprivation of my freedom causes profound sadness for me, my wife, my family, and for Colombians who still believe that I have done something good for the country,” Uribe tweeted.

Uribe and congressman Álvaro Hernán Prada are accused of bribery and fraud, crimes for which the Colombian law establishes up to 12 years in prison. In 2012, the former president accused leftist senator Iván Cepeda of organizing a plot to falsely link him to paramilitary squads during visits to former members of those groups in jails. 

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But in February 2018, the court investigating all criminal matters involving lawmakers said that Cepeda had collected information as part of his job and that he had not paid or pressured former paramilitaries. Instead, the Court assured that Uribe pressured witnesses through third parties.