A court in Medellin requested judicial authorities to open a probe against former President Alvaro Uribe over his alleged involvement in two massacres carried out by paramilitary groups about two decades ago in the north-eastern province of Antioquia, during his tenure as its governor, local media reported Tuesday.
The higher court of Antioquia made the decision as the judges upheld a 30-year prison sentence condemning two ranchers, who worked as hitmen with the paramilitary group Self-Defense Units, for the 1998 murder of lawyer and human rights activist Jesus Maria Valle.
The ruling stated that there are “enough elements” involving several people, including Uribe, to open an investigation. According to the ruling, the meeting where those people agreed on “silencing” the lawyer took place at mansion of Uribe's family.
The meeting is also linked to the massacres known as La Granja, in 1996 which left four victims, and El Aro in 1997 that left 15 victims, and were carried out in the town of Ituango, under the leadership of ranchmen Jaime Alberto and Francisco Antonio Angulo Osorio.
Pedro Juan Moreno, who was Uribe's vice governor of Antioquia, also participated in the meeting, according to the judges — he deceased in 2006.
A probe was opened against Uribe in 2015 over his possible involvement in the massacre of El Aro, after various eyewitnesses affirmed that a helicopter belonging to the Antioquia government was patrolling the skies during the paramilitary raid.
Uribe rejected the accusations as politically motivated and claimed there was no evidence.