Mauricio Alfonso Santoyo Velascom: A former policeman, general

and chief of presidential security, he has been indicted in U.S.

federal court for taking bribes from drug cartels, drug trafficking

with right-wing paramilitaries, betraying informants who ended up

dead, providing intelligence to the cartels and undermining U.S.

and Colombia counternarcotics operations.



U.S. Says Uribe Security Chief Worked for Drug Cartels, Paramilitaries (El Espectador, Colombia)


“Santoyo is charged with providing confidential information obtained through illegal wiretapping to these criminal organizations, allowing their members to avoid capture, as well as facilitating drug trafficking to Central America and the United States. According to the U.S. indictment, to accomplish this, Santoyo worked with other corrupt police officers and betrayed the names of informants who were later killed.”


Translated By Florizul Acosta-Perez


June 15, 2012


Colombia - El Espectador – Original Article (Spanish)

Former Colombia President Alvaro Uribe: His former chief of security has been indicted for betraying the counternarcotics strategy he so famously pursued during his two terms in office.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Drug submarine seized in Colombia, May 30, 00:00:30RealVideo

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has indicted Mauricio Santoyo for having links to the Office of Envigado [a drug cartel] and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia [a combine of right-wing paramilitaries classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2001].


A former policeman and general, Mauricio Alfonso Santoyo Velascom, who was also security chief for President Uribe during his first term, has come under the radar of U.S. justice. The U.S. District Attorney for Virginia, Neil MacBride, is investigating the retired senior officer for his alleged links with the Office of Envigado and the paramilitary forces.


According to El Tiempo, Santoyo is said to have provided confidential information obtained through illegal wiretapping to these criminal organizations, allowing their members to avoid capture, as well as facilitating drug trafficking to Central America and the United States. According to the U.S. indictment, to accomplish this, Santoyo worked with other corrupt police officers and betrayed the names of informants who were later killed.


The newspaper El Espectador confirmed that the House of Nariño (office of the president) is already aware of situation of Santoyo, who has been indicted on five charges. Security agency sources told this newspaper that two other police officers may be linked to the charges. It is understood that in order to open the case, the U.S. District Attorney took statements from people who have been extradited [These are thought to be members of right-wing paramilitaries President Uribe extradited to the United States].


[Editor’s Note: The May 24 indictment issued by a grand jury of the Eastern District of Virginia and unsealed last week alleges that Santoyo received "substantial bribes" in exchange for:


  Tipping off the traffickers to ongoing drug-trafficking investigations as well as wiretaps targeting them.


  Promising to "facilitate the transfer of corrupt police officers, who would further assist these drug-traffickers in their business."


  Notifying traffickers of upcoming arrest operations, including joint Colombian investigations with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.


  Conducting unauthorized wiretaps on behalf of the traffickers.


  Provide intelligence collected by Colombian law enforcement to drug traffickers, including on people later targeted for murder by the traffickers.]



A controversial figure


It was October 2000, when Colombian prosecutors began investigating the disappearances of two ASFADDES members (members of the Association of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared), that Santoyo’s name began coming under the intense scrutiny of Colombian authorities. While Santoyo was head of the GAULA force [an elite anti-kidnapping task force] in Medellin (July, 1996 to December, 1999), the GAULA Intelligence section conducted over 1,800 illegal wiretaps, among which were activists with ASFADDES.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Santoyo was no longer in GAULA during the period in which the ASFADDES members disappeared. However, in 2003, the issue of “tapping” earned him a ban from public office from the Inspector General’s Office. According to the Ministry of Public Security, Santoyo, a lieutenant colonel at the time, allowed men under his command to arrange illegal phone wiretaps with forged search warrants through Medellin Public Utilities.


To punish Santoyo, the Inspector General’s Office took several things into account. Prosecutors whose signatures appear on the wiretap warrants assert that the signatures were not theirs - and this has been confirmed by handwriting analysis. A Medellin police sergeant delivered the spurious documents to Medellin Public Utilities, while others were faxed from the offices of GAULA.


Evidence in hand, the Inspector General’s Office dismissed the security secretary of then-President Uribe and disqualified him, along with nine of his subordinates, from holding public office for five years. But President Uribe, upon hearing of the ruling, said: “Based on the facts that the Inspector General’s Office cited to impose the ban, the attorney general absolved Colonel Santoyo on August 29, 2003, based on a lack of grounds for continuing the investigation.”



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Uribe indicated at the time that as Santoyo had appealed the disciplinary decision, the Presidency of the Republic had to await a final determination. In November, 2004, the attorney general upheld the decision. Santoyo then left Uribe’s security detail but maintained his ties to the police.


In 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Inspector General’s Office on the grounds that the offenses had already been invalidated. In his appeal, Santoyo demanded reinstatement and promotion to proper rank given his years of service - general. And so, after obtaining the approval of a general meeting of police and the Congress, approval was given in 2007.


During his promotion ceremony in 2008, General Santoyo was made police attaché to Italy. Uribe never doubted the legality of his actions, and in interviews like one with RCN Radio in February, 2007, Uribe said: “I defend Colonel Santoyo,” and criticized the disciplinary sanction: “the Inspector General’s Office considered this the story of the year - to have dismissed the president’s security chief.” At Santoyo’s promotion ceremony, Uribe expressed “gratitude” for his work.




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US June 19, 1:29am]




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