Imprisoned cartel boss says he financed Uribe presidential campaigns

Álvaro Uribe Vélez

The incarcerated ex-head of the North Valley Cartel has issued formal testimony alleging that he helped finance the presidential campaigns of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, reported a national newspaper Thursday.

The Criminal Division of Colombia’s Supreme Court reportedly forwarded copies of the accusations — that jailed drug lord Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez provided “campaign resources” to Uribe — to the House of Representatives on Thursday, reported a national newspaper. Congress has several ongoing investigations looking into the former president’s involvement in alleged illegal activity.

“Don Diego” reportedly claimed to have also financially supported a number of other politicians — Dilian Franscisco Toro, Juan Carlos Martinez, Rocio Arias, Leonora Pineda, Luis Arenas Helmer — including the former governor of the western state of Valle de Cauca, Juan Carlos Abida, and former President of the Conservative Party Carlos Holguin Sardi.

Information on the allegations was sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office by the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court. Don Diego also referenced four mayors in the state of Valle de Cauca in his confession, according to the Vanguardia newspaper.

MORE: Uribe military information leak investigation concludes 

In the wake of accusations implicating the former president in the latest wiretapping scandal, the new accusations of conspiring with a known drug lord could have an effect on Uribe’s run at senate in 2014.

MORE: Don Diego pleads guilty in Miami

Diego Montoya Sanchez or “Don Diego” was the former leader of the North Valle Cartel, which warred with Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel in the 1980s for supereminence over the global drug trade, and is currently serving out a prison sentence in the state of Arizona in the United States. He is accused by the Colombian authorities as having participated in as many as 1,500 drug-related murders.



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