Strange things dead paramilitaries write…and stranger things they reveal. From Aporrea, a little note that will make you believe that there IS life after death, especially for crime and scandal in Colombia:
The ex-colonel of Colombian police, Danilo Gonzalez, who was assassinated in 2004, ordered the murder of former presidential candidaate Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, and the kidnapping of Venezuelan businessman Richard Boulton.
This, according to a letter from the late paramilitary chief Carlos Castaño, which was revealed today.
The letter from Castaño, also killed four years ago, and published by the weekly magazine Semana, also accuses Colonel Gonzalez of planning the kidnap of architect Juan Carlos Gaviria, brother of the former Colombian president and ex-secretary of the Organization of American States, Cesar Gaviria.
Castaño, who was one of the founders and principal chiefs of the right-wing paramilitary AUC group, made the accusations against the colonel in a letter dated August 2002, which was addressed to Boulton.
The Venezuelan airline businessman was kidnapped July 15, 2000, at his hacienda in Venezuela, turned over to the AUC in Colombia, and freed two years later, although at first he claimed to have been in the power of left-wing Colombian guerrillas.
Carlos Castaño affirmed in the letter that the murder of Gomez Hurtado and the kidnappings of Boulton and Gaviria were part of a strategy by Col. Gonzalez to convert Colombia into a “narco-state” and an international refuge for criminals.
“This colonel headed a crazy project for various years: they called it ‘Plan Burma’. They tried to involve the maximum possible number of persons and members of institutions of the State in narcotrafficking (…) and they would implant a narco-regime in Colombia,” wrote Castaño.
Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, various times a presidential candidate with the Conservative Party and son of president Laureano Gomez (1950-53) was assassinated on November 2, 1995, as he was leaving a class he had been teaching at a university in Bogota.
Juan Carlos Gaviria, brother of former president Cesar Gaviria (1990-94), was kidnapped in 1996 by an unknown group and freed 70 days later.
Later, it was established that the kidnap was planned by the supposed guerrilla chief Hugo Antonio Toro, alias “Bochica”, who left prison in exchange for the freeing of Gaviria.
Both incidents occurred during the reign of liberal president Ernesto Samper, who governed under the accusation of having financed his electoral campaign with some $6 million US from narcotraffickers of the Cali Cartel.
Castaño wrote that the objective of the “Bochica” episode was “to keep Ernesto Samper in the presidency.”
According to Castaño, the AUC spent $5.7 million a month to maintain themselves, and some 70% of their income came from narcotrafficking and the rest from theft of fuel from the State, extortions and kidnappings.
Just a gentle reminder, folks…Alvaro Uribe has close ties to the AUC. And yes, he was also closely connected to Pablo Escobar, the late drug lord, to the point of rubber-stamping pilots’ licences from the department of Antioquia for Escobar’s flyboys.
And just think, this is who the US is propping up with their dinero and their push for a “free” trade agreement. Aunt ‘Bina predicts that if that deal ever goes through (ha, ha, dream on!), the main stuff of trade will be Colombian nose-powder for gringo dinero…only this time, it will be easier to smuggle, and the DEA will be content to pin the tail on uncompliant Venezuela instead of ultra-complicit Colombia, comme d’habitude.