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Politico Denies Connection To Cartel While Cartel Plans His Rallies

Photo: REUTERS/Colombian Army Press Office/Handout via Reuters

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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A conservative Colombian politician denied any ties to narco-paramilitaries after Colombian media outlets reported drug traffickers were organizing his major political rally.

Senator Alvaro Uribe — who was the Colombian president from 2002 to 2010 — is reportedly teaming up with narcos to shuttle people on buses to attend his anti-government protest Saturday. The former president is leading the rally to voice his opposition to government peace talks with Marxist-narcos.

But Uribe’s Democratic Center party (CD) denies claims of working with narcos.

“They are trying to damage the good name of the Democratic Center [party] and disallow this civilian manifestation,” CD Congressman Samuel Hoyos said Friday, according to Colombia Reports.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration is currently engaged in peace talks with Marxist narco group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — also known as FARC — in Havana, Cuba. It was announced Wednesday in Caracas, Venezuela that the government is also pursuing peace talks with the Marxist narco group the National Liberation Army.

President Santos’ son, Esteban Santos, even tweeted Uribe is bribing people to attend his rally.

El Señor, percatándose de su error y posibles presiones, borró tweet y cerró cuenta pero acá la está info: pic.twitter.com/bhLG1opM1V

Esteban tweeted, “This man naively admits that he received payment for the Saturday protest against peace. Justified it because it is ‘aid.'” Esteban goes on to tweet, “The man, realizing his error and possible pressures, deleted the tweet and closed his account but here is the info:” The president’s son then shows images and tweets by the Uribe rally supporter.

A protest organizer claims that the allegations are “ridiculous” according to Colombia Reports. The organizer went on to say that he “will go out with my sons to put them [flyers and posters] up because we don’t have the resources to pay anyone to do it,” according to Colombia Reports.

Uribe led the implementation of Plan Colombia, a military plan to take out narcos, while serving as the country’s president. Plan Colombia was funded by the U.S. and carried out with American operational support.

Throughout his political career, Uribe has been plagued by accusations of ties to the drug trade. Sen. Uribe’s brother is being investigated for formally leading a paramilitary death squad. The CD party’s 2014 presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga fled the country March 9 because he is facing arrest for having illegally obtained information regarding peace talks.

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