As the days drag on, Senator Iván Cepeda can’t escape the growing doubts about his star witness, Juan Guillermo Monsalve – the man the entire sham case against Álvaro Uribe depends upon.
“I don’t know how Monsalve got the ranch,” Cepeda told a reporter, struggling against the clear evidence laid out by independent journalists in Colombia that Monsalve’s impoverished wife somehow acquired control of a sprawling $123,000 ranch on 50 acres of rich farmland as her husband was delivering on Cepeda’s demand for testimony against Uribe.
Cepeda also insists he didn’t arrange for cash support for Monsalve through an allied political NGO, the Solidarity Committee for Political Prisoners, simply “put Monsalve in contact” with them. But Monsalve is not a political prisoner. How did Monsalve get special treatment from this Cepeda-connected NGO? How much money was funneled to Monsalve that hasn’t been reported yet?
Without any material evidence to support his accusations against Uribe, Cepeda only has the hearsay testimony he could induce from prisoners like Monsalve. At its core, the Uribe case is entirely political and tied directly to Cepeda’s ideological kinship with the FARC and their hope to turn Colombia into a Marxist state. Even the Supreme Court, Cepeda’s alleged friend and ally, gave him a black eye on Thursday, rejecting his latest angry, political motion in the case with a warning that he needs to stop “transferring the resolution of political conflicts to the judiciary.” And the Court tweeted the rebuke at Cepeda for added emphasis.
Each time Cepeda struggles with the latest revelation that batters his credibility, a new one emerges. If we keep following the money, where will it lead us?