People who allegedly conspired with top paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, according to Mancusoâ€™s â€œJustice and Peaceâ€ testimony yesterday, which covered events up to 1997:
- Vice-President Francisco Santos, who Mancuso says met with him four times and proposed the creation of a paramilitary bloc in BogotÃ¡.
- Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, who Mancuso says proposed a joint effort to overthrow then-President Ernesto Samper. (Santos told reporters that his 1997 meeting with Mancuso were part of a peace-building effort.)
- Army Gen. Rito Alejo del RÃo, head of the 17th Brigade in the northwestern region of UrabÃ¡ at the time of a bloody paramilitary offensive in the zone (and at the time that Ãlvaro Uribe was governor of Antioquia, the department that includes much of UrabÃ¡).
- Army Gen. MartÃn Orlando CarreÃ±o, who succeeded Gen. Alejo in UrabÃ¡, and who in 2003-2004 was the chief of Colombiaâ€™s army. (CarreÃ±o told reporters yesterday that Mancuso was seeking revenge “because I dedicated myself to attacking the paramilitaries permanently.”)
- Army Gen. IvÃ¡n RamÃrez.
- Former National Police Chief, and current Ambassador to Austria, Gen. Rosso JosÃ© Serrano: according to Mancuso, when he and top paramilitary leader “Jorge 40″ were detained by police in La Guajira, they were released after drug-trafficker and future paramilitary leader “Don Berna” contacted Gen. Serrano to request that they be freed.
- Sen. Miguel de la Espriella and former Rep. Eleonora Pineda, both placed under arrest on Monday, whom Mancuso called â€œour congresspeople.â€
- Sen. Mario Uribe, the president’s cousin, who asked Mancuso to support Eleonora Pineda’s candidacy.
People revealed to have been subject to more than 8,000 hours of illegal police wiretaps over the past three years, in a scandal that emerged this week:
- Carlos Gaviria, candidate of the opposition Polo DemocrÃ¡tico party in the May 2006 presidential elections. Gaviria finished second in the voting to President Ãlvaro Uribe.
- Paramilitary leaders currently in the ItagÃ¼Ã maximum-security prison near MedellÃn.
- Many, many others. Defense Minister Santos said yesterday, “Many people had their phones intercepted, members of the government, of the opposition, public figures, journalists. … I saw a recording [of a conversation] between [television journalist] Claudia Gurisatti and Carlos Gaviria: that’s as far as we’ve read. I saw others, but it’s not worth the trouble to mention the names.”