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Former Colombian President's Cousin to Spend Time in Prison


Colombian lawmaker Mario Uribe (File)

Colombian lawmaker Mario Uribe (File)

Colombian officials say a cousin of former President Alvaro Uribe has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison on charges of making deals with rightist paramilitary groups.

The Colombian Supreme Court made the announcement Monday in the case of former senator Mario Uribe, who was accused of having links with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, and profiting from their actions.

Reports say the former senator was accused of making agreements with AUC units in the northwestern state of Antioquia for the armed units to intimidate and alarm voters to help him secure election to the Senate several years ago. He has denied any ties to the AUC.

During his presidency, Alvaro Uribe repeatedly denied collaborating with the AUC.

The United States has designated the AUC, along with two leftist rebel groups, as terrorist organizations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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