On the fourth day of Colombia’s trial of the century, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear three former paramilitaries and one of the assistants of former President Alvaro Uribe, who has been charges with fraud and bribery.
Witness #17 | “Castañeda”
“Castañeda” is a former mid-level commander of the Bloque Metro paramilitary group that was founded by Uribe and his brother in the 1990s, according to two former members.
Uribe used the former paramilitary commander’s written testimony to support criminal charges against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda in 2014 that were dismissed last year and laid the basis for the criminal charges against the former president.
Castañeda is going to have a tough day; he an three other former paramilitaries went on record in 2013 claiming they feared for their lives after having testified before a court about Uribe’s alleged ties to paramilitary death squads.
According to the Supreme Court, the former paramilitary later changed his claims in Uribe’s alleged conspiracy to discredit the testimonies of the two key witnesses who have testified the former president formed the Bloque Metro and “politically finish off Senator Ivan Cepeda and discredit the debate he was promoting about paramilitarism in Antioquia.”
Uribe was wiretapped talking to several people allegedly involved in manipulating Castañeda to withdraw his initial accusation and falsely accuse Cepeda instead.