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U.S. Justice accuses Mauricio Santoyo Velasco

16 Jun

The U.S. justice accuses Mauricio Santoyo of having links with the ‘Office of Envigado’ and the AUC.

General (r) Santoyo, called to trial in U.S.Mauricio Santoyo

General (r) Santoyo, called to trial in U.S.Mauricio Santoyo

The U.S. justice system brought under the radar general of the Police, Alfonso Mauricio Santoyo Velasco, who was a former security chief Alvaro Uribe during his first term. A prosecutor in Virginia, Neil MacBride, called trial of a retired senior officer for his alleged links with the ‘Office of Envigado’ and paramilitaries.

As revealed by the newspaper El Tiempo, Santoyo would have given undisclosed or obtained through illegal wiretapping members of such groups to avoid illegal catches, and to facilitate drug trafficking to Central America. According to the U.S. justice system to Santoyo does this would ally with other corrupt police and to have betrayed the names of people who were later killed?

The Spectator confirmed that the Presidential Palace is already aware of the situation Santoyo, who has made five charges against him. Sources of security agencies told this newspaper that, possibly, two other police officers will be linked to the process. To open this file, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has received statements extradited.

A controversial figure

It was October 2000 when the prosecutor began investigating the disappearance of two members of Asfaddes (Association of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees), that the name Santoyo came under intense scrutiny from the Colombian authorities. While Santoyo was the head of the Gaula Police in Medellin (July 1996 to December 2001), the living intelligence of that entity did more than 1,800 illegal wiretaps, among those two lines Asfaddes activists.

Santoyo was no longer in Gaul by the time that members of Asfaddes disappeared. However, the issue of “tapping” earned him a recall in 2003 by the Office. According to the Attorney General, then Lieutenant Colonel Santoyo Velasco agreed that his men shall deal with the Public Enterprises of Medellín (EPM) released the wiretapping of forged tax.

To punish Santoyo, the Office took into account several things. Prosecutors whose names appeared on interception warrants stated that these were not his signatures and handwriting tests confirmed it. A sergeant of the Gaul admitted apocryphal documents submitted to EPM and several others were sent from the fax of Gaul. And it was found that intelligence in the room itself were linked Gaula private lines.

Evidence in hand, the Attorney dismissed the security secretary of then President Uribe and disqualified from holding public office for five years, as nine subordinates. However, the former head of state, knowing the ruling, issued a statement: “For the same facts, by which the Office imposed the penalty, the Attorney General to Colonel Santoyo acquitted on August 29, 2003 for failing to find sufficient grounds to continue with the investigation.”

Uribe said that, as Santoyo had appealed the disciplinary determination, the President of the Republic was to await the final judgment. In November 2004 the Attorney General affirmed the decision. Santoyo left the security scheme but continued Uribe linked to the police as he knew the outcome of the appeal of the officer to the State Council.

In 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Attorney General on the grounds that the offenses had already prescribed. Santoyo had demanded in his appeal to be reinstated and called the promotion course, that is, general. And so it happened in 2007, after obtaining the approval of the general meeting of the Police and the Congress.

During the promotion ceremony in 2008, General (r) Santoyo Velasco was sent to Italy as an attaché of the embassy. Uribe never doubted the legal nature of their acts, and interviews as he gave RCN Radio in February 2007 said: “I defend Colonel Santoyo,” also criticized the disciplinary, “the attorney said it was his doing the year, have dismissed the head of security for the Presidency.” At the promotion ceremony of Santoyo said a “sense of gratitude” to work.

In America, however, believe that it has committed Santoyo more than a sin. They believe he abused his position to intercept telephone lines for drug trafficking organizations, and facilitated the delivery of drugs to the United States. No further request for extradition but, once formalized the indictment (judgment call), that is the next step. Then a matter of time that the request comes to Colombia.

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