Why on earth were known criminal, murdering, drug-dealing warlords - men known to have ordered the murders of thousands - even given laptops, blackberries etc. while in prison?
Perhaps because Uribe is and always has been involved with these drug dealers (at least according to the US intelligence community):
The release of a 13-year-old previously classified military intelligence document linking Colombia’s right-wing president Alvaro Uribe to drug traffickers has intensified the crisis of Washington’s most slavish supporter in Latin America.Meanwhile the international press is eager to jump on any "evidence" Colombia releases which discredits FARC or any other leftist.
A virtual “who’s who” of the Colombian cocaine trade, the report was issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1991. It was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archives, a non-governmental research group based at George Washington University.
The document lists 104 of the “most important Colombian narcoterrorists contracted by the Colombian narcotics cartels for security, transportation, distribution, collection and enforcement of narcotics operations in both the US and Colombia.” Uribe appears as number 82 in this list of assassins and drug smugglers.
The confidential DIA report described Uribe in the following terms: “A Colombian politician and senator dedicated to collaboration with the Medellín Cartel at high government levels. Uribe was linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the US. His father was murdered in Colombia for his connection with the narcotics traffickers. Uribe has worked for the Medellín Cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviría.” It added that Uribe had “attacked all forms of the extradition treaty” that Washington had sought to bring Colombian drug traffickers to trial in the US.
Van Auken, Bill. 05-Aug-2004. Colombia’s Uribe: US ally in “war on terror” named as drug trafficker.
The corruption is disgusting.
From the AP:
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Laptop computers have proven evidentiary treasure troves of late for Colombian investigators probing far-right militias and leftist rebels.
So it amazed many to learn that authorities did not immediately secure the laptops and cell phones belonging to most of the 14 paramilitary warlords they yanked out of prison on May 12 and extradited to the United States to stand trial for drug trafficking.
The hard drive in warlord Ramiro Vanoy's laptop and three cell phone SIM cards - which store phone numbers and text messages - went missing from Itagui prison outside Medellin, where half of the extradited warlords were held.
And prosecutors are not yet able to say whether any of 10 seized computers were tampered with during the more than 48 hours that lapsed before prison officials handed them over to judicial investigators.
The apparent neglect - or worse - was especially striking given officials' recent handling of evidence found on other laptops.
"It's sabotage of important evidence, though you don't know whether it's ineptitude or done deliberately," Lopez said in a telephone interview.
After an uproar in Colombian media about the mishandled equipment, Vanoy's lawyer turned over on Friday what he said was the errant hard drive, "its seals of guarantee perfectly intact," according to the national prisons authority.
The laptops' presence in prison owe to their owners' unusual situation: the warlords surrendered under a 2003 peace pact that offered them reduced prison terms in exchange for their full cooperation in confessing to crimes. Many were using the machines to compile details of their transgressions.
Mancuso has implicated more politicians and military officers than any other paramilitary boss as criminal accomplices of the warlords, who seized control of Colombia's Caribbean coast beginning in the late 1990s, killing thousands and stealing millions of acres of land.
Many believe Mancuso had information in his laptop that could have incriminated more of his partners in crime and correctly suspected his extradition could be imminent when President Alvaro Uribe extradited a first paramilitary warlord on May 7 after receiving a court's go-ahead.
Chief Prosecutor Mario Iguaran's office provided the following update Tuesday on the paramilitaries' legacy: 1,492 bodies of victims have been recovered from common graves and demobilized fighters have confessed to 5,841 crimes.
It said it believes another 4,000 common graves remain to be unearthed.
Bajak, Frank. 28-May-08. Warlords' laptops: not handled with care. Wired News.