Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), a member of the House Trade Working Group, today released the following statement in response to the arrest of former Colombian Senator Mario Uribe, a second cousin of President Alvaro Uribe and one of his closest advisors, for "agreements to promote illegal armed groups."
"The arrest of Mario Uribe is another example of a close ally of President Uribe being directly linked to violent paramilitaries in Colombia.
"His former chief of domestic intelligence, Jorge Noguera, has been accused of giving paramilitaries a hit list' of labor leaders.
"Meanwhile, trade unionists in Colombia are being killed at a rate of over one per week this yeara dramatic spike in violence. This brutality has spilled over to peasants and other civilians. The Washington Post recently reported that Colombian troops are killing farmers and passing their bodies off as rebels.
"This latest arrest of someone so close to the Uribe Administration should give pause to anyone advocating passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement."