The brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, former heads of the extinct Cali cartel and currently serving sentences for drug trafficking in the US, accused former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana (1998-2002) of blackmail, in order to cover up corruption cases in their environment. .
The letter from the former drug bosses, published by FM journalist Darcy Quinn, it was sent after the former president released another letter, allegedly drafted under pressure two decades ago, in which the Rodríguez brothers tell of their alleged financial support for Ernesto Samper’s presidential campaign in 1994, where he defeated Pastrana.
Specifically, on August 31, Pastrana delivered to the Truth Commission, an entity that seeks to clarify the causes and origins of the Colombian armed conflict, a letter, in the Rodríguez’s own handwriting, in which they assure that the Samper’s campaign received money from drug trafficking and that the politician “knew about the proceeds.”
Given this, came the response of the Rodríguez brothers. In their new letter, just published, they say: “Mr. Former President Pastrana: We are not surprised, but we are surprised how, with the delivery of the letter sent to you with our mutual friend Dr. Santiago Rojas more than 20 years ago and his statements before the Truth Commission, you point out and at the same time intend to pose as a victim of corruption without including yourself in such corruption. “
Likewise, they tell Pastrana that “You forgot to tell the Truth Commission about your criminal involvement in the so-called Dragacol and Chambacú contracts, “where presumably the former president would have been” head of that criminal conspiracy to defraud the State out of several million dollars. “
According to the capos, the letter that Pastrana delivered to the Truth Commission was written by them two decades ago, the product of “blackmail,” and the former president had promised not to make it public.
In the story, they recall that when both brothers, Gilberto and Miguel, were incarcerated in the La Picota prison in Bogotá, they received a visit from Dr. Santiago Rojas, Pastrana’s doctor in the Presidency.
Rojas would have spoken with Gilberto to announce that Pastrana was “very angry” with them and was willing to extradite them to the United States because they were supposedly “in a conspiracy in company with Samper” to discredit him before public opinion, “for the corruption that occurred in the Dragacol and Chambacú contracts,” among other processes.
So, to avoid this extradition, Rojas would have urged the Rodríguez family to write a letter telling how their support had been “for Samper’s campaign,” also involving their henchman, Horacio Serpa.
Although they refused at first, pointing out that it was blackmail, they finally wrote the letter they requested.
Financing your campaign
At the end of the letter just sent to Pastrana, the Rodríguez brothers suggest that they also financed the campaign of this former Colombian president.
“We have helped both liberals and conservatives in the last 50 years of the last century. Your campaign could not be an exception […] The only way you could say you don’t know is that it was behind your back as well, “they say in the new letter.
After the publication of the new letter from the Rodríguez brothers, Pastrana issued a statement in which he doubts the veracity of the letter.
However, he points out that “the communication does not deny, in any of its sections, the letter signed by the Rodríguez Orejuela family on the financing of the Cali cartel and other drug traffickers to the Ernesto Samper campaign.”
Likewise, he defends himself by pointing out that his campaign in 1994, when he lost against Samper, “was handled in the most neat manner” by Luis Alberto Moreno, Hernán Beltz and Claudia de Francisco, who “they have never been investigated for ties to drug trafficking “.
After hearing the statements of the Rodríguez brothers, Samper expressed his surprise at the possibility that Pastrana mounted the “criminal entrapment” against him, “for denouncing the serious corruption cases of the time.”
“I am surprised by the explosive statements of the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers about the unworthy behavior of the former president Andrés Pastrana, “added the politician.
He also expressed his astonishment at the revelations about the alleged financing of the Cali cartel to Pastrana’s campaign for the Presidency.
“The country has the right to know the truth that former President Pastrana tried to hide in his unusual presentation at the Truth Commission, “he said.