The Honorable Connie Mack (R-FL), the former chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, recorded a message to Colombian Senator Iván Cepeda, urging that he answer the questions being raised in the United States about the full nature of his involvement with several individuals under criminal indictment in the Southern District of New York:
“It has been 18 days since I wrote to Senator Iván Cepeda of Colombia to ask him nine questions that are easy for him to answer. Colombia is a very important partner of the United States and the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking has been a matter of national security for Democrats and Republicans in our government for decades.
So I direct this message to Senator Cepeda.
- Many of your top political allies are under criminal indictment in the United States for crimes against the American people, and are fugitives from justice.
- They have pledged to bring down the democratic government of Colombia.
- You have joined them in seeking to end the U.S.-Colombian partnership to combat narco-terrorism.
- You played a central role in events which led to their escape from justice.
- The FARC is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
- Members of the U.S. Congress have begun to investigate your actions on these matters, and actions you took on U.S. soil.
The only response you have given so far is to say you will only answer to what you call competent authorities.
So I ask you:
- Is Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart a competent authority?
- Is Congressman Francis Rooney a competent authority?
- Is the Southern District of New York a competent authority?
- Who is the competent authority you’re waiting to hear from?
- Are you telling us that you’re just waiting to be indicted?
I am urging you, Senator Cepeda, to answer these important questions. If you want to contribute to the strong partnership between the United States and Colombia, then clear up these doubts about your actions. Tell us the full history of your association with the FARC. Clarify your role, if any, in the escape of Santrich and Marquez.
If you’re an innocent man, then what do you have to hide?”