Colombia: Ex-Security Chief Accused In Drug Trafficking, Wiretapping Schemes
June 19, 2012 By Staff
Top Story — A recently-unsealed document U.S. indictment revealed that Colombia’s former security chief, Ex-General Mauricio Santoyo Velasco, has been charged with conspiracy to export cocaine to the United States while he cooperated with right-wing paramilitaries to collect debts through assassination, kidnapping and extortion. Santoyo Velasco, who served under former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe from 2002-2006, has not been issued an arrest warrant, nor are his whereabouts immediately known. The May 24 indictment by a Virginia grand jury charges that Santoyo leaked information about counter-drug operations and arrests to drug traffickers in exchange for bribes, and said he conducted unauthorized wiretaps, among other crimes. Uribe Tweeted that he would not comment further, saying that “Santoyo and the police institution would explain the case.”
Read more from the Associated Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón praised U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to provide work visas for young undocumented immigrants when the two met at the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
- A Californian was rescued 60 miles off the coast of Mexico after a whale hit his boat and caused it to start filling with water on Tuesday.
- Haiti’s Defense Ministry said that a naval officer from Chile assigned to the Chilean Embassy in Haiti was murdered during a Sunday robbery attempt.
- The Inter-American Human Rights Court opened its 95th session Monday with hearing on massacres in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.
- According to the U.S. government, more Cubans attempting to migrate to the U.S. have been apprehended this year than in all of 2011.
- Police in a municipality near San Salvador have asked inmates from rival gangs to wear different colored uniforms in an attempt to keep the inmates separated.
- A fifteen year-old girl with an infant killed herself and her baby by ingesting chemical pesticides on Saturday.
- The Colombian military said that the FARC launched a grenade at a navy checkpoint in Buenaventura on Sunday, wounding nine people, including seven children.
- The Colombian government has issued 30,000 face masks to residents living in an area near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, which is spewing ash and gas. The volcano last erupted in 1985 and killed 25,000 people.
- The Venezuelan government is demanding the return of a mythic boulder taken from Canaima National Park and moved to Berlin by a German artist.
- So far, Paraguay has failed to link a violent clash between landless farmers and police to the guerrilla group EPP (Paraguayan People’s Army).
- About 50,000 visitors and 160 heads of state are expected to visit Rio de Janeiro when Brazil hosts the Rio+20 summit starting Wednesday.
- A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck Argentina on Monday, but no casualties were reported.
- Scientists are testing a planetary rover in Chile’s Atacama Desert, which is said to be similar to conditions on Mars.
Image: Cameron and Katie @ Flickr.