Uribe is the first Colombian president to testify before a court over allegations related to witness tampering and bribery. The case has left the country divided, as Colombians protest for and against their former leader.
Visibly distraught, Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe responded to criminal charges upheld by the Supreme Court by assuming the role of the victim.
In an incoherent speech for his followers, Uribe reiterated conspiracy theories that have long been debunked or were never substantiated.
Hours before, the court announced that it had formalized the criminal investigation into the alleged fraud and bribery practices of the political patron of President Ivan Duque and leader of the far-right Democratic Center party.
Uribe implied that the allegedly fraudulent criminal charges he filed against a political rival were made in good faith and that he was unaware of payments made to false witnesses by his fixer.
The former president appeared desperate, caught in a web of lies that nobody believes, at least not the Supreme Court.
In a desperate attempt, Uribe seemed to shift responsibility to his fixer and witnesses, a move that could turn his legal allies against him.
At least one witness has already flipped. Uribe publicly admitted that a second witness received money. A third witness reportedly retracted his statement.
Uribe’s fixer, self-proclaimed “gangstattorney” Diego Cadena, has publicly denied bribing witnesses to neutralize claims the former president’s family formed a death squad.
But Cadena already has three criminal investigations against him and cannot afford his boss blaming him for bribery unless he is willing to go to prison for the former president.
It appears that the entire strategy of Uribe’s legal defense has collapsed.
The former president can only hope his followers are unaware of the evidence that has been piling up against him and continue to believe his blatant lies and conspiracy theories.
What this means for his political party and the government is entirely uncertain. Duque and the Democratic Center lawmakers have remained loyal until today, but everything indicates that Uribe has gone toxic.