The former far-right president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, tweeted that Carlos Areiza, a key witness in the cases against the former president who was murdered last week, is “rightfully dead.”
“Carlos Areiza was a bandit. He died by his own law. Areiza is rightfully dead,” Uribe said.
Out of the 12 key witnesses in the investigations against Alvaro and Santiago Uribe for alleged connection with paramilitary groups, nine have been killed including Areiza.
Areiza had repeatedly said he was receiving death threats since 2011 when he was testifying against Mario Uribe, Alvaro Uribe's cousin in the case. According to him, after a hearing in Medellin, men went to his house and told his father: "Tell him to shut up or we'll shut him up through you." Some days later, his father was murdered.
Carlos Areiza had brought key information to the Supreme Court of Justice regarding the investigation against the Uribe brothers, demonstrating that they had manipulated evidence and witnesses.
However, in 2015 Areiza had supposedly sent a letter to the Supreme Court saying that Senator Ivan Cepeda had bribed and pressured him to testify. Earlier this year however, Areiza said that the letter did not exist, and that Cepeda had never pressured or bribed him.
Alvaro Uribe and his brother Santiago Uribe are currently under investigation for links to paramilitary groups. Uribe's time as president saw a rise in killings of social leaders by both state forces, and illegal paramilitary groups that many say were linked to Uribe's government. Since his presidency, Uribe has become a bitter opponent of his former Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, regarding the peace deal with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
The candidate of Uribe's Democratic Action party, Ivan Duque, has been leading in polls for Colombia's upcoming presidential election.