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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:49 PM

Retired general responds to US drug trafficking charges .

Retired general responds to US drug trafficking charges .
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 06:40 Brandon Barrett

Retired General Mauricio Santoyo, who served as former President Alvaro Uribe's security chief, responded to drug trafficking charges filed by U.S. authorities Monday.

A Virginia court charged Santoyo with drug trafficking after the testimony of extradited paramilitary leaders Salvatore Mancuso and Carlos Mario Jimenez, alias "Macaco." He was linked to the now-defunct paramilitary group, the AUC and Medellin-based crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado.

According to newspaper El Tiempo, the retired general is suspected of having been paid by both organizations to leak classified intelligence and provide them with information about rival drug traffickers who had their phones illegally wiretapped and "were later found assassinated."

According to a recent report, almost 1,200 Colombian officials face accusations of collaborating with the AUC.


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