Narcos de Cali accuse Pastrana of blackmail and support for political campaigns

Andrés Pastrana revealed information that uncovers a dark past in Colombian politics, which involves him. Photo EFE

The brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, bosses of the defunct Cali cartel, accused former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana of blackmailing them to cover up corruption cases in their environment and said they had helped other political campaigns, in addition to Ernesto Samper's for the Presidency.

The complaint is in a letter sent by the Rodríguez Orejuela family to Pastrana, who was president of Colombia between 1998 and 2002, and published today by various local media.

In it, the brothers, who are serving sentences for drug trafficking in the United States, where they were extradited in 2004 and 2005, respectively, recriminate Pastrana for having delivered a letter a week ago to the Truth Commission drawn up under pressure in the They told how was their financial support for Samper's presidential campaign, also involving his trusted man, Horacio Serpa.

«Mr. Former President Pastrana: We are not surprised, but we are surprised how, with the delivery of the letter sent to you with our mutual friend Dr. Santiago Rojas more than 20 years ago and your statements before the Truth Commission, you point out and to the at the same time you intend to pose as a victim of corruption without including yourself in such corruption, ”begins the letter from the convicted drug traffickers.

On August 31, Pastrana delivered to the Truth Commission, which investigates the causes and origins of the Colombian armed conflict, the letter from the Rodríguez Orejuela family, in which they assure that the campaign for the presidency of Samper received money from drug trafficking and that this "I did know about the income."

Samper, from the Liberal party, defeated Pastrana, from the Conservative, in the 1994 presidential elections, after which there were reports of the entry of money from the Cali cartel into the campaign of the winning candidate, a fact that marked his Government (1994- 1998).

Bribery and narco-campaigns

In the message released today, the brothers say that this letter was drawn up on a date they do not remember from 1999 or 2000 at the request of Pastrana, who accused them of conspiring together with Samper and Serpa to "discredit him in the public eye for corruption that was in the contracts of Dragacol and Chambacú »that came to light when he was president.

According to the Rodríguez Orejuela family, the doctor Santiago Rojas, who visited them in a Bogotá jail where they were imprisoned, told them that Pastrana was willing to extradite them for allegedly conspiring with Samper and Serpa, and that is why they agreed to write the letter that more than 20 years later the former president handed over to the Truth Commission, despite the fact that he had promised not to make it public.

Pastrana's purpose, they say, was to show the letter to Samper and Serpa so that they would desist from making statements about the Dragacol and Chambacú corruption scandals.

They also assure that Serpa, who was Samper's government minister and his main defender in the so-called "8.000 process" for the infiltration of money from the Cali cartel in his 1994 presidential campaign, "we have never given a peso."

On the other hand, they affirm that "in the last 50 years of the last century" they helped different political campaigns, both liberal and conservative, including that of Pastrana.

"His campaign could not be an exception and an exceptional witness could be the (conservative leader) Dr. Álvaro Pava Jr.", they assure.

According to the Rodríguez Orejuela family, "the only way you (Pastrana) could say that you don't know is that it was also behind your back, like the hypothetical case of Dr. Ernesto Samper."

Samper surprised by the «unworthy» Pastrana

Pastrana has not commented on the brothers' letter, but Samper issued a statement in which he assures that he set up a trap against him and Serpa, who died on October 31.

“I am surprised by the explosive statements of the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers about the unworthy behavior of former President Andrés Pastrana when, as President of the Republic, he set up a criminal entrapment against Horacio Serpa and against me for denouncing the serious cases of corruption of the Dragacol era and Chambacú, "he said.

He also shows his surprise "at the revelations about the financing, by the Cali cartel, of his campaigns for the presidency and the negotiation of his extradition."

"Former President Pastrana has to explain to the country his conduct in these circumstances and the judicial authorities, including the Attorney General's Office and the Commission of Accusations of the House of Representatives, must undertake the investigation of the serious facts denounced," he says in your release.

Pastrana did not ultimately extradite the Rodríguez Orejuela family to the United States, but his successor, Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) did.



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