Former president Uribe to be investigated over paramilitary massacres

A Colombian court has recommended that former president Álvaro Uribe be investigated over two paramilitary massacres committed with his alleged knowledge while he was governer of the department of Antioquia in the 1990s.

Both massacres occurred in the town of Ituango, one of the most violent zones in the country. In 1996, paramilitaries killed four people in the Granja massacre, while the following year 15 people died in the Aro massacre. The massacres were allegedly planned at Uribe’s ranch ina meeting involving paramilitary commanders.

Uribe has long been surrounded by allegations over his links to paramilitary networks. As governor of Antioquia, he sponsored the legalisation of armed civilian groups, known as Convivirs. His presidency oversaw major state abuses such as the Operation Orion massacre in Medellin in 2002 and the False Positives scandal, in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of young and poor Colombians were lured with fake offers of employment before being killed and presented as dead guerrillas.