Anti-drug official accused of drug ties

Feb. 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM
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BOGOTA, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The former head of the anti-narcotics initiative "Plan Colombia" faced questioning regarding suspected drug trafficking ties, officials said.

Sandra Suarez, former executive director of the U.S.-funded initiative, was appointed by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in 2002 to help combat drug trafficking. The former Information and Communications Technology director of the now-defunct intelligence agency has accused Suarez of involvement with a regional paramilitary group.

The office of the prosecutor general has said the investigation into Suarez's involvement is preliminary, and her questioning Monday was voluntary. She was to make a statement Wednesday. So far she has denied involvement and accused the intelligence official of slander.

The paramilitary group, before it was demobilized in 2006, was designated by many countries, including the United States, as a terrorist organization, and was responsible for most drug trafficking in the country.

Suarez is accused of collaborating with three governors and one of the paramilitary group's main leaders, known as Jorge 40, to expand its power into the north of the country in 2006. All three governors have since been sentenced for their ties to Jorge 40, Colombia Today reported.

Jorge 40 was extradited to the United States in 2008.

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