Published On: Mon, Jan 27th, 2014

Fugitive key witness in Uribe brother’s paramilitary case turns himself in

Juan Carlos Meneses (L) and Santiago Uribe

The key witness in a criminal case against the brother of former President Alvaro Uribe for being a paramilitary leader in the 1990s, turned himself in after years in Venezuela, weekly Semana reported on Monday.

Former police major Juan Carlos Meneses fled the country after facing threats following his accusation that Santiago Uribe, the younger brother of the former Colombian president, of being the leader of a local paramilitary group in a town where the Uribe family had a business.

MORE: ‘Uribe’s brother led paramilitary death squad’

In his 2010 testimony, Meneses accused Uribe of being the head of “The 12 Apostles,” a fearsome paramilitary group that was active around the town of Yarumal, Antioquia during the 90s.

Under Uribe’s alleged leadership, the group carried out “social cleansing” operations during which alleged sympathizers to leftist rebel groups like the FARC and ELN, and small-time criminals were assassinated.

Meneses admittedly collaborated with the paramilitary group while serving as the local police chief in 1994.

Since then, he received numerous death threats for “knowing too much” before he decided to testify in order to become a key witness against Santiago Uribe, according to the Washington Post.

Before testifying, the former police chief fled the country first to Venezuela and then to Argentina where he testified before Argentine Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez, among others, before returning to Venezuela where he has been hiding until his surrender.

After Colombian prosecutors reopened an investigation into Uribe in September 2013, also based on Menses’ accusations, authorities issued an arrest warrant for the key witness after he failed to appear in court for the second time in November.

MORE: Uribe’s brother interrogated over paramilitary ties and murder

The former police major turned himself in after Colombian authorities and Interpol issued an international search warrant against him for the alleged involvement in several murders.

“I will not run away from authorities for the rest of my life. I am turning myself in,” he told Semana before he made his way to meet Colombian officials.

In the interview he confirmed his accusations against Uribe and announced that he has “documents, photos and other incontrovertible evidence” to support his accusations.

Furthermore he claimed that he was not hiding because he wanted to avoid legal prosecution, but because “my life and the ones of my family were being threatened.”

Referring to the accusations of being involved in the homicides he stated that “I am not avoiding this accusation made by the Colombian justice system, but they have to listen to me and evaluate my level of participation in all these homicides. I will assume my responsibility but not as the person who ordered the assassinations, because that’s not true.”

The prospect of new evidence presented by Meneses could add new momentum to the investigation into the links between Uribe and the paramilitary death squad which was reopened in September after the testimony of a new witness was revealed.

MORE: Farmhand is star witness in investigation against Uribe’s brother

Yarumal, Antioquia

Sources

The post Fugitive key witness in Uribe brother’s paramilitary case turns himself in appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.


For website development, online marketing and promotion,
check out The Q Media


If you enjoyed this piece, please SHARE IT so other readers can find it and enjoy it.

Recent Posts

TCO bottom

April 28, 2016, Comments Off on TCO bottom

TCO Bottom2

April 28, 2016, Comments Off on TCO Bottom2

TCO Sidebar

April 28, 2016, Comments Off on TCO Sidebar

Outbreaks of Zika in Colombia declining

April 25, 2016, Comments Off on Outbreaks of Zika in Colombia declining

Star witness in $68M embezzlement scam murdered outside of Medellin

April 23, 2016, Comments Off on Star witness in $68M embezzlement scam murdered outside of Medellin

Colombia’s senate seeks allowed organ donation by default

April 22, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia’s senate seeks allowed organ donation by default

Oil production in Colombia down 4% in March

April 22, 2016, Comments Off on Oil production in Colombia down 4% in March
Augusto_Ilian_Rio_Cali_Cali

Cali, Selected As One of 100 Most Resilient Cities

April 22, 2016, Comments Off on Cali, Selected As One of 100 Most Resilient Cities

Colombia’s peso on the rebound following surge in global oil prices

April 21, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia’s peso on the rebound following surge in global oil prices

Health offices bombed in Colombia’s capital Bogota

April 21, 2016, Comments Off on Health offices bombed in Colombia’s capital Bogota

Not bullies, but politicians are stealing Colombia’s school children’s lunch money

April 21, 2016, Comments Off on Not bullies, but politicians are stealing Colombia’s school children’s lunch money
Party in Colombia