James Sanders writes:
Hylton’s assessment of Uribe, detailing the close links between the president’s political movement and the drug-traffickers and paramilitaries, is devastating. The accusation that Uribe had ties to the paramilitaries when he was a regional governor are more important though less good copy than his links to drug-traffickers, especially Pablo Escobar; Hylton reports that after being told of his father’s death, Uribe was taken to a family ranch by one of Escobar’s helicopters. Recent revelations have only confirmed Hylton’s grim portrait. Jailed paramilitaries have given details of the close links between Uribe, his supporters in Congress and the right-wing militias. In October, Senator Mario Uribe, the president’s second cousin and close ally, was forced to resign after the paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, a powerful commander in the AUC, admitted having meetings with the senator to plot how to transform the militias from a military force into a social and political movement, a process Evil Hour in Colombia describes very well. Fourteen congressmen have already been jailed for having ties to paramilitaries and many more, almost all allies of Uribe, are under investigation.