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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 06:49 PM
Original message
Former chief of staff to Colombia’s ex-president jailed in eavesdropping scandal
Source: Associated Press

Former chief of staff to Colombia’s ex-president jailed in eavesdropping scandal
By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, July 30, 5:10 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia — A Colombian judge on Saturday ordered the arrest of former President Alvaro Uribe’s chief of staff for alleged involvement in spying on judges, journalists and politicians by the domestic security agency. Bernardo Moreno, 51, is the second top former aide to Uribe to be ordered arrested on criminal charges.

A former agricultural minister, Andres Felipe Arias, was jailed Tuesday for allegedly favoring political cronies with irrigation subsidies. But the Moreno case is the first affecting Uribe’s former inner sanctum. He was the president’s chief of staff for both his terms in office from 2002-2010.

Judge Marlene Orjuela ordered Moreno jailed while he is tried for criminal conspiracy, abuse of public office and other charges. Moreno faces at least three years in prison if convicted by the Supreme Court. He denies any wrongdoing.

Colombia’s chief prosecutor, Viviana Morales, alleges Moreno took part in a key September 2007 meeting at an exclusive Bogota club in which he directly instructed officials of the DAS state security agency to spy on political foes and critics of Uribe.

Read more:

DU'er Rabs posted this story earlier today in the Latin America forum:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 06:59 PM
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1. Please see this strange un-AP-like part from the article:
Edited on Sat Jul-30-11 07:00 PM by Judi Lynn
The DAS has along been a troubled agency mixed up in Colombia’s dirty war targeting alleged sympathizers of leftist rebels.

It was infiltrated by cocaine-trafficking far-right militias during Uribe’s tenure, and another former DAS director, Jorge Noguera, allegedly colluded with death squads, providing them with lists of labor leaders and leftist intellectuals to target for assassination. Noguera’s case is being tried by the Supreme Court.
Makes you wonder what's going on when Associated Press suddenly refers to what has been happening in Colombia as a "dirty war" in this article. Are they trying to stay ahead of shifting world views of this filth now that the rest of the world's starting to find out what has been happening there despite all efforts of the corporate media?

I think so. Now they're admitting the targets of the government appear to have been "alleged" leftist sympathizers.
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Moreno is being held in a Federal "bunker holding cell" this weekend

instead of a common prison "for his own safety." He will be held at a military base beginning Monday, according to latest reports in Bogota Spanish media.

For DUers who have a only a casual knowledge of Colombia under Alvaro Uribe (a pal and ally of Dubya Bush and later Hillary), the detention of Moreno is a Colombian equivalent of the arrest of Karl Rove and his being tossed in the jug.

Arias' was the Colombian version of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and some 250 million dollars was stolen and distributed to wealthy landowners and even a couple of beauty queens. The recipients then plowed the money back into Uribe's failed bid for a third presidential term, and possibly into Arias' own bid for the presidency last year.

It was a case of a reverse Robin Hood, the uribistas stole the millions destined for poor campesinos and small farmers and gave it to the rich.


Re the "dirty war" reference by the AP -- had never seen the term used to refer to the half-century-old Colombian insurgency. Think it is just incompetency by the AP reporter, because if that was true, the U.S. with its Plan Colombia has poured much of seven billion dollars in aid given to Colombia since 2000 into a "dirty war."

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Good to learn where this guy stands in the hierarchy. He's the highest one they've arrested
if you don't count Uribe's cousin.

Regarding Uribe relatives, found this item:
Uribe Administration; Death Squads And Paraco Brothers Bound By Blood
Ties may bind Colombian president to death squads

BOGOTA -- The arrest of President Alvaro Uribe's cousin on charges he colluded with right-wing death squads is significant not so much because of the family ties, but because the cousins' careers have been intricately intertwined from the moment they entered national politics more than two decades ago.

''Mario has been Uribe's main political partner for the past 20 years,'' said Colombian political analyst Pedro Medellín. ``This affects the government's ability to govern and deepens the crisis of legitimacy in Congress.''

Mario Uribe, a former senator and second cousin to the president, faces charges that allege he sought the political backing of paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso in 2002 just before national elections and of negotiating with another warlord the purchase of land in areas under paramilitary control.

He is the latest in a string of more than 30 members of Congress elected in 2006 who have been arrested for allegedly conspiring with the paramilitary death squads that used to control huge swaths of the nation. Another 30 lawmakers have been implicated in the scandal since it broke in late 2006.


Yet another President Uribe relative to remember:
New book adds to claims Uribe's brother led paramilitary group .
Saturday, 07 May 2011 21:31 Edward Fox .

A new book sheds further light on the alleged leading role of former President Alvaro Uribe's brother Santiago in the notorious paramilitary death squad, the 12 Apostles.

The book, written by Colombian journalist Olga Behar and presented Saturday in Bogota, is titled "El Clan de los 12 Apostoles," (The Clan of the 12 Apostles) and focuses on the period of 1992-1994, drawing predominantly from interviews with a former Antioquian police official, Juan Carlos Meneses, the man who first implicated Uribe as the leader of the group in an interview with the Washington Post last year.

While the 2010 interview by Meneses was crucial in highlighting Uribe's role as the principal financier and strategist for the group, the book delves deeper into the relationship between the paramilitaries and the authorities, a relationship that permitted the killings of peasants, guerrillas and alleged guerrilla sympathizers by the group Behar stated in a recent interview.

Rather than seeing the operational capacity of this paramilitary squad as being a result of individual failings by the police and armed forces, Behar notes that it was down to a deliberate failing by the authorities, using cases provided by Meneses as key examples.

I'd take Billy Carter ANY day as a President's brother, as opposed to someone involved in death squads and land grabs taken from the poor.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Uribe was running Colombia as a criminal enterprise with the blessing of the Bush Junta
and $7 BILLION in U.S taxpayer money, and the Obama administration--apparently under an obligation to protect not just Bush, Cheney, Rumfeld and immediate cohorts from investigation and prosecution, but also any ancillary crime bosses that they had happened to hire with our money, such as Uribe--has been actively protecting and coddling Uribe, by extraditing death squad witnesses to the U.S. on mere drug charges and burying them in the U.S. federal prison system--out the reach of Colombian prosecutors and over their objections--by okaying and possibly arranging instant asylum for the chief spying witness against Uribe, Maria Hurtado, in the U.S. client state of Panama, also over the objections of Colombian prosecutors (who now have an Interpol warrant out against her), by the State Dept. writing to the judge in the Drummond Coal death squad case warning the judge not to force Uribe to give a deposition, by honoring Uribe with academic sinecures at Georgetown and Harvard and by appointing him to a prestigious international legal commission. There is probably more to this than that Uribe is a Bush Cartel "made man" and thus the Democrats are obliged to give him "equal protection"; he probably knows some things about U.S. crimes (possibly U.S. military or military contractor crimes authorized by the Bush Junta) in Colombia that the Obama administration feels obliged to cover up.

It's quite interesting that the "dots" are finally being connected between the spying and the death squads. I wonder if, as I suspect of the Honduran coup, this spying scandal is a "time bomb" meant to explode in Obama's face--that is, once compromised by a deal to cover up U.S. participation in Uribe's crimes in Colombia, Obama can be "gotten" by that agreement, with the perps (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, esp. Rumsfeld, long ago immunized and out of the picture, their crimes fading into history), and even if the Obamaites were to jettison Uribe. Like any co-conspirator, they, too are guilty--and they are the ones running for re-election, not the long gone war criminals. It's the sort of twisted knife-in-the-back thing that the rightwing does. And this may explain why scumbag 'journalsts' like the Associated Pukes are giving it any currency at all (it is set-up of Obama). I keep trying to attribute good motives to Obama, Panetta and Clinton, on this matter--that is, that maybe they have had such utter criminality, by people with such enormous power, to deal with in our government--still resonant in our government, with active and latent operatives-- that they CAN'T always do the right thing--or they think they can't--and they CAN'T make themselves look good, in some circumstances. For instance, maybe they dearly want to jettison Uribe (let the Colombian prosecutors have him) but they can't do it openly; they are maybe pulling strings, leaking things, or whatever, very secretly, to insure that he faces justice? But looking at what we can SEE of their actions (the above), they look very bad, indeed. And, all in all, I don't have much hope that this is true. I think the U.S. government has become a continuum of war crimes followed by war crime coverups, all in the interest of multinational corporations and war profiteers.

I keep waiting for the OTHER shoe to drop, in this particular situation--Colombia and Uribe's crimes--that the U.S. was providing technical assistance and operatives to help Uribe identify targets--trade unionists, human rights workers, teachers, campesino leaders, etc.--and to murder them. It's very curious what the rightwing president of Panama said, to the U.S. ambassador, in one of the Wikileaks cables--he demanded that the U.S. help him spy on his political enemies (like the U.S. was doing for his pal Uribe?).
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-11 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
4.  Aide to former Colombian president faces arrest
30 July 2011 Last updated at 21:40 ET
Aide to former Colombian president faces arrest

A senior aide of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is facing criminal prosecution.

A judge has ordered the arrest of Mr Uribe's former chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, for allegedly spying on judges, journalists and politicians.

It is the second such order this week. Andres Felipe Arias, a former agriculture minister, has been charged with corruption. He denies the allegations.

Alvaro Uribe left office last year.

Mr Moreno served as Mr Uribe's chief of staff for both of his presidential terms, from 2002-2010.


George W. Bush awards the Medal of Freedom to Alvaro Uribe.
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